Netanyahu calls on Hamas militants to 'surrender now'

08:02PM Mon 11 Dec, 2023

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, December 10, called for Hamas militants to lay down their arms, saying the Palestinian Islamist group's end was near, as the war in the Gaza Strip raged more than two months after it began.

"The war is still ongoing but it is the beginning of the end of Hamas. I say to the Hamas terrorists: It's over. Don't die for [Yahya] Sinwar. Surrender now," Netanyahu said in a statement, referring to the chief of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. "In the past few days, dozens of Hamas terrorists have surrendered to our forces," Netanyahu added. The military has, however, not released proof of militants surrendering, and Hamas has rejected such claims.

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Almost one month ago, Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Hamas had "lost control" of Gaza. Meanwhile Hamas warned Sunday that no hostages would leave Gaza alive unless its demands for prisoner releases are met, while the World Health Organization said the territory's health system was collapsing after more than two months of war.

As aid groups warn the territory is on the brink of being overwhelmed by disease and starvation, the head of the United Nations decried a divided and "paralyzed" Security Council for failing to agree on a ceasefire.

"Gaza's health system is on its knees and collapsing," said World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, with only 14 of 36 hospitals functioning at any capacity. WHO's executive board on Sunday adopted a resolution calling for immediate, unimpeded aid deliveries.