Netanyahu Marks Holocaust by Saying Israel Will Fight Alone

Hamas says ceasefire talks ended without either side budging
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 5, 2024 3:20 PM CDT
Israel, Hamas Refuse to Budge
People visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday rejected international pressure to halt the war in Gaza in a fiery speech marking Holocaust memorial day, declaring: "If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone." The message, delivered in a setting that typically avoids politics, was aimed at the growing chorus of world leaders who have criticized Israel's offensive against Hamas militants and have urged the sides to agree to a ceasefire, the AP reports. "I say to the leaders of the world: No amount of pressure, no decision by any international forum will stop Israel from defending itself," Netanyahu said. "Never again is now."

Also on Sunday, Hamas announced that the latest round of ceasefire talks ended in Cairo without an agreement, though the militant group described the negotiations as "in-depth and serious discussions." Hamas reiterated demands that Israel again rejected, per the AP, which reported that prospects for a ceasefire soon are fading. In addition, Israel closed its main crossing point for delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza after Hamas attacked it. The head of the UN World Food Program told NBC that northern Gaza is experiencing a "full-blown famine" and that famine is moving south in Gaza. Israel's efforts to let in more aid are not enough, Cindy McCain said.

Yom Hashoah, the day Israel observes as a memorial for the 6 million Jews killed by Nazi Germany and its allies in the Holocaust, is one of the most solemn dates on the country's calendar. Netanyahu compared the recent wave of protests on American college campuses to German universities in the 1930s, in the run-up to the Holocaust. Holocaust remembrance has taken on new meaning this year, per the AP. Hamas militants killed some 1,200 people on Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel, making it the deadliest violence against Jews since the Holocaust.

(More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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