NetanyahuRoi Avraham/GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel's operation to dismantle the last four Hamas battalions in Rafah will last "a matter of weeks, not months, not years."

In an interview with Sara Eisen on CNBC today (Wednesday), Netanyahu acknowledged that the US and Israeli governments have differences of opinion on the operation, but Israel is determined to go forward with the Rafah offensive despite American opposition.

“Yes, we do have a disagreement on Gaza. Rather, on Rafah. But we have to do what we have to do," Netanyahu said, adding that "you just have to do what is required to ensure your survival and your future. We cannot continue into the future by having Hamas retake Gaza.”

“I hope we can see eye to eye with the United States, we’re talking to them, but ultimately we do what we have to do to protect the life of our nation," the Prime Minister said.

He emphasized that the only way to end the war is to "clean Gaza of Hamas."

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and reiterated the Biden Administration's opposition to any large-scale operation in Rafah.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said that Blinken “affirmed the ironclad US commitment to Israel’s security and the shared objective of the defeat of Hamas” and the two “discussed the situation in Gaza and ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages.

“The Secretary reaffirmed the US opposition to a major military ground operation in Rafah, where over one million people have taken shelter,” Miller added.

The US has long been vocal in its opposition to an Israeli operation in Rafah. Last Wednesday, Biden warned that he would halt shipments of American weapons to Israel if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders a major invasion of the city of Rafah.

Speaking to CNN, Biden said that while the US would continue to provide defensive weapons to Israel, including for its Iron Dome air defense system, other shipments would end should a major ground invasion of Rafah begin.

On Friday, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that the US is watching Israel's operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah with concern and wants the Rafah crossing reopened immediately.