Benny Gantz
Benny GantzHaim Goldberg/Flash 90

Minister Benny Gantz gave a speech this evening (Wednesday) and emphasized that Israel will continue the war against Hamas immediately after the conclusion of the current ceasefire.

"We are in complex moment, with a time window within the framework of the deal to return our kidnapped. We will work to make the most of it as much as possible. At the same time, we are prepared and ready to return to combat, at any given moment, even right now. The State of Israel is conducting a complex, multi-arena campaign," Gantz said.

"They rose against us to destroy us, and they still want to do that. We have no choice. We must keep fighting," Gantz declared. "We're not seeking revenge, but to secure our future. We will not stop until we bring security and remove the threat to our citizens in the south and north."

"The fighting will continue, and will expand wherever it is needed throughout the Gaza Strip. There will be no cities of refuge. Until the residents of Be'eri and Sderot, Shlomi and Metula will be able to safely return to the land that is part of them and of us. Until our sons and daughters return to their homes."

On the issue of the hostages, Gantz said: "No eye was dry at the sight of those returning home in the last few days, but this evening I would like to address the families of the hostages who have not yet returned. To those who still do not know what happened to their loved ones."

"Your burden is enormous and inexplicable. It is because of this heavy burden that it is impossible not to be moved by your strength, by the sincere joy you show for those who have been reunited with their loved ones. Or from the support you give to the state, the political leadership and the army to continue to act so that we change the reality, so that we return your loved ones, and so that we return all the residents of the south and the north to their homes safely. We all strengthen and embrace you. The intensity of your pain and the burden of responsibility for the fate of your loved ones is our focus every minute, day and night," Gantz noted.

Gantz criticized parts of the newly-passed budget, but reiterated that the National Unity party would remain in the government because the current war against Hamas is "the most important war since the establishment of the state."