I have seen the following quote from Netanyahu referenced in a few places: CNN, Senator Sanders, Wikipedia.

We provide minimal humanitarian aid... If we want to achieve our war goals, we give the minimal aid.

It is reported to be from a January 13 press conference, and is usually used as evidence that the Israel starves the Gaza population on purpose.

I am interested in the context of this quote, i.e. is it honest to report Netanyahu as 'boasting' about only allowing the minimal aid in. Was he asked why Israel was providing aid to Gaza at all, and replied that it was necessary to provide at least the minimal aid in order to avoid collapse, or was he asked why Israel did not provide more aid and replied that Israel needed to provide the minimal acceptable aid in order to starve the Gaza population?

I have been able to find these two clips from January 13 (which was day 100 of the Gaza war): "PM Netanyahu gives statement on eve of 100th day of Gaza war" from i24NEWS and Live: Israeli prime minister Netanyahu holds press conference, but neither seem to contain the quote.

The closest match is from the second link, where he says (translated):

We wanted to avoid a humanitarian collapse. Therefore, the government money started to go to these needs: to prevent diseases, to sustain the population—two million people who could collapse on us, who could spill over to us. The government before me started it, it continued through the governments led by me and the governments that came after me, to prevent a humanitarian collapse, which is part of Israel's goals: to eliminate the terrorist organizations or hit them certainly, and that's what we did and weakened them, but we need to complete the mission because we neither had the national internal consensus nor the international consensus. We have it now. The internal will give a lot to the external. We need to constantly preserve it, and I am working on it all the time, and now we will complete the mission.

But this does not seem to be close enough to count.

Can anyone find where the original quote is from?


1 Answer 1


The source can be found here (in Hebrew) Netanyahu to a Calcalist reporter who returned from more than 100 days of reserve duty: "I fight Hamas and you fight me":

‏‏מדוע ישראל לא דורשת להתנות סיוע הומניטרי בתמורה הומניטרית?‏

‏"אמרתי: בלי סיוע הומניטרי מינימלי לא נוכל להשלים את המשימה והיעדים שלנו. לכן אנחנו נותנים את זה". על מחאת בני המשפחות החוסמות את הכנסת הסיוע לרצועה הוסיף: "הרמטכ"ל יטפל".‏

Google translates to this

Why does Israel not demand that humanitarian aid be conditioned on a humanitarian return?

"I said: without minimal humanitarian aid we will not be able to complete our mission and goals. That's why we are giving it." Regarding the protest of the members of the families blocking the introduction of aid to the Gaza Strip, he added: "The Chief of Staff will take care of it."

So it seems like the reporter asked why doesn't Israel stop aid altogether unless they get something in return (presumably, all of the hostages). In response, he says that there is a minimum (more than zero) amount of aid that they need to give in order to complete their goals (which are presumably to defeat Hamas and return all of the hostages). He then continues to say that the Chief of Staff will take care of the people who are preventing aid from entering (so to ensure that aid does enter).

  • Something said 'off the cuff' like that should probably not be parsed too closely, but interestingly enough, he's made the implication that "less than minimal aid => mission fail". He didn't quite say "more than minimal aid => mission fail". So it is slightly dishonest to read the latter into what he said there, although some people have done that. Commented May 30 at 0:34
  • Thank you. The date seems to be wrong (Jan 27), but the quote seem to match. I think this should be the video with the correct timestamp: youtube.com/live/W2UBglpNsfA?si=ZGXx6aB6Oa7Mx8Mj&t=909 Commented May 30 at 8:50

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