Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has told his Irish counterpart Micheal Martin that Israel won’t agree to hold fire in the Gaza Strip until it defeats Hamas and brings home hostages held by the radical group.
"There will be no ceasefire until our abductees return home and we topple the Hamas regime! I clarified these things to the Irish foreign minister who came today to visit Israel," Cohen said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
"We toured Sderot and Kibbutz Ari and I showed him the devastation wrought by Hamas terrorists," he went on to say. "I told him that Ireland's statements since the war have been plagued by an appalling lack of understanding of the situation on the ground, and I am sure that the evidence of the horror and the harsh scenes will make it clear on whose side Ireland should stand."
The situation in the Middle East sharply escalated following an incursion of Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip into Israel on October 7, accompanied by killings of residents of Israeli settlements near the border and taking more than 200 hostages, including children, women and elderly people. Hamas has cast the attack as a response to Israeli actions against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Israel has declared a complete siege of the Gaza Strip and started a military operation there. Israeli also strikes parts of Lebanon and Syria in retaliation for bombardments originating from there. Clashes are also taking place in the West Bank.