Minister Ofir Sofer
Minister Ofir SoferArutz Sheva

Aliyah and Integration Minister Ofir Sofer (Religious Zionist Party) said that, in his opinion, the goal of returning the hostages does not contradict the goal of destroying Hamas and Israel should advance both at the same time.

"The State of Israel went to war and defined two goals: The elimination of Hamas and the return of the hostages. The state is committed to these two goals. From a strategic perspective, they are seemingly contradictory, but in fact they serve one another. Negotiations must be secret, and at the same time, we are committed to victory. Every transaction must enter into this consideration - and the victory should be clear and complete. I am happy that I heard the Prime Minister make a firm statement on this issue. If it is not clear - the national security of the State of Israel will be harmed," he told Arutz Sheva-Israel National News.

In his opinion, the previous deal for the release of hostages proved that Israel can combine the goals. "I am very satisfied with the decision to support the first deal. From the beginning, I was inclined to go with the deal that gave us the opportunity to fight together and allowed the entire nation to be united around the continuation of the fighting."

"There was concern as to whether the fighting would continue after the deal and the energies that were in the military and political leadership were to continue fighting. The State of Israel is determined to reach a solution, both in the south and in the north. We have no other way to continue to exist here without doing that," he added. "The previous truce served us and the price we paid was the right one. It was accompanied by additional values and the ability to fight together. I am sure and pray that we will make the right decisions."

Minister Sofer called for the unity of the people to be taken from the difficult times and to implement it even after the war. "In this period, we need to learn to fight together, to share together, and to do it even after the war, out of mutual respect. We can disagree and we probably will. After all, the differences will not disappear, but the discourse can be held in a dignified and correct manner. We must remember that an elected government belongs to the entire people of Israel. This period is a kind of laboratory for learning how to live together and we probably needed it."

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