HALIFAX – Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said Saturday that his country cannot withdraw from the Gaza Strip until Hamas’s military capabilities are eliminated. He added that civilian deaths were inevitable.
Mr. Barak spoke with PBS reporter Nick Schifrin as part of the Halifax Forum on International Security held this weekend.
The six-week war was sparked by a massive Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7, in which the militants killed more than 1,200 people and took about 240 civilians hostage.
In response, the Israeli army invaded the Gaza Strip. According to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Health Ministry, more than 11,400 people were killed, most of them women and children.
Mr. Barak, who was Prime Minister of Israel from 1999 to 2001, reminded conference participants that he has always been very critical of his country’s current leader, Benjamin Netanyahu. He even has some ministers in Proud Boy, an American far-right group.
However, he mentioned that his country was united in its desire to bring this war to an end. “We have to finish the job,” he stressed. He said that no Israeli government could survive unless it ensured that Hamas remained in power.
Today, Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), General Wayne Eyre, will take part in a panel discussion on the Indo-Pacific region, where China recently had tense encounters with a Canadian naval helicopter that fired flares near the aircraft while it was taking part in naval exercises .
About 300 delegates from around the world are attending the Halifax Forum on International Security, an annual event designed to strengthen cooperation among democratic nations.
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