MK Simcha Rothman, member of the Religious Zionism party and Chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, spoke to Israel National News - Arutz Sheva on IDF forces leaving the Gaza Strip, US pressure on Israel, a hostage deal and the total elimination of Hamas.

MK Rothman says that he is, “Worried, because we need to apply constant pressure on Hamas, not to stop for a second, until of course all the hostages are back, and the goals of the war have been achieved. So, we can hear all the explanations for a tactic pause and it might be legitimate or reasonable, but we have to make sure that the pressure continues, because I believe that only military pressure will bring the hostages back and will enable us to achieve the goals of the war, which, of course, is to free the citizens and residents of the south in Israel from the threat of Hamas.”

He continued to say that, “We need to gain control over the Philadelphi Corridor, we need to demilitarize the Gaza Strip. We have a lot to do, and we have to do it forcefully and continuously.”

MK Rothman held an emergency meeting of the Religious Zionism party, in the wake of the events, to convey a message to the Prime Minister and the government, but states that, “My message is not political. The views that I'm expressing have 80, 90, maybe 100% support of the population in Israel. We need to eliminate Hamas. We cannot stop and we must take Rafah. That is our goal, and I don't think any government and, for a matter of fact, I don't think the State of Israel is able to survive if we don't eliminate Hamas.”

MK Rothman asserts that, “The message that stopping in the middle, and it doesn't matter if you make a pause for tactical reasons, but if you stop in the middle and you do not eliminate Hamas and you do not make sure that the Gaza Strip is demilitarized, we are living in a very dangerous neighborhood and all of our enemies will gain more power to attack us, just by seeing that the outcome of attacks like October 7th, the horrible things that we saw, is not a total elimination of Hamas. Our friends from all around the world need to understand that any pressure on the State of Israel to stop the war is actually pressure to make Israel sign a suicide pact. We will not stop, and we must not stop.”

In response to the pressure that the US is putting on Israel regarding its military strategy in the war, MK Rothman says that he is, “Not trying to get into the politics of the US, but even the American public and even for America's own interest, and I'm not even talking about Israel's interests, any pressure on Israel to stop the war will backfire. People in the world are looking how the US is treating its allies. People are thinking about choosing sides between China and Russia and the US, and the fact that the US will not give the 100% support that Israel needs in the time of war, will influence not only Israel, not only the Middle East.”

He adds, "‘The West is Next’ is not just a term. We see the Jihadist, Islamic terror cartels all around the world trying to import and export terror all around the world. If we won't fight it here in Israel, it will go and spread, it will continue spreading also in the mosques near Washington DC, in the mosques near New York, in the mosques near Los Angeles, and on the streets of all those cities and more. We must protect the world from this evil.”

MK Rothman believes that, “Having a public debate on the hostage deal is exactly what Hamas wants and that's why I'm not doing it. That's part of the psychological warfare, that this cruel and vicious terror organization, Hamas, wants to achieve and they are playing with the feelings of the families and people from all around the world, because we have Americans that are hostages, Israelis and other nations and their playing with the family's feelings and the feelings of the entire State of Israel is part of the psychological warfare.”

Regarding Israel's redlines in terms of a hostage deal, MK Rothman believes that, “The red lines will be stated in the rooms where it is needed to be stated, but the one clear red line, not just for a hostage deal, but for any conduct of Israel during this war, is to not stop the war until Hamas is gone. This is very simple. This is a must-have and we cannot allow ourselves to stop. If a hostage deal will achieve that end, this is a very good reason to object to anything that will create a chance that the war against Hamas will stop.”