Benny Gantz
Benny GantzAyal Margolin/Flash90

Minister Benny Gantz (National Unity), a member of Israel's War Cabinet, warned that the war against Hamas may take even a "generation" to complete.

Speaking to representatives of the Otef Israel Forum, which represents over 2,000 residents of the Gaza border region, Gantz stressed that while Israel may be waging the war against Hamas for years, time is short for those held hostage in Gaza.

"This war could last a year, ten years, or even an entire generation," Channel 12 News quoted Gantz as saying. "We have time to destroy Hamas. The hostages have no time - right now, that is the priority."

"A complete removal of the threat will take time," he added. "Hopefully there will be relative safety in the summer. We will soon reach Rafah."

On Sunday night, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) said, "As long as there are hostages still held in the Gaza strip, we have no right to stop looking for the women, the children, the soldiers who are there – we have to go all the way. And military action does not necessarily result in an operational outcome, but also in the fact that at the end there are those who are ready to talk to us."

"This is the difference between the situations years ago and the situation now – during negotiations we brought 110 hostages to Israeli territory, because the other side needed peace, they needed us to stop killing him, that the 11th Brigade and others stop harming them. We will intensify the [military] pressure and continue our efforts – it's already happening now," the Defense Minister added.

He stressed, "This war cannot be ended with ‘points gained,’ it can only end with a 'knockout.' We must eliminate Hamas. If we want to live in this region, every terrorist within a radius of hundreds of kilometers from the State of Israel, must know that there is only one possible result following the type of attack that was committed - and in this case it is the elimination of Hamas’ military and governing capabilities."