Netanyahu tours Gaza tunnel amid fragile truce, vows to eliminate Hamas

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 30, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toured a tunnel in the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday and vowed to "eliminate" Hamas.

"We are here in the (Gaza) Strip," Netanyahu was seen saying in a video footage released by his office, wearing an army vest and helmet. His office said he received a briefing from commanders and toured an underground tunnel belonging to Hamas that was exposed during the war.

Netanyahu stated that Israel's goals for the attack, launched on Oct. 7 following Hamas' deadly surprise attack, are to "eliminate" Hamas, release about 240 hostages kidnapped by Hamas, and "ensure that Gaza will not pose a threat to Israel again."

"We are continuing until the end -- until victory! And nothing will stop us," he said, surrounded by soldiers. He added, "We are making every effort to bring our hostages back home, and eventually, we will."

The visit took place on the third day of a fragile truce between Israel and Hamas, which includes the entry of desperately needed aid to Gaza and the release of about 50 hostages and 150 Palestinian prisoners.

The weeks of Israeli bombardment in Gaza have reportedly led to the deaths of over 14,000 people, 40 percent of them children, while thousands remain missing, believed to be trapped beneath the rubble, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry. According to Israeli figures, about 1,200 people were killed, mainly in the initial attack that triggered the war. 

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