Destruction of Hamas Israel's goal


Israel is committed to winning the war in Gaza and eliminating Hamas regardless of the economic toll on the country, Economy and Industry Minister Nir Barkat said on Monday.

Israel's $500-billion economy has taken a hit during the more than four-month-old war against the Palestinian militant group in Gaza, during which thousands of people have left the Israeli workforce and gone to serve in the military.

But Barkat, who is widely seen a potential candidate to succeed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, made clear that national security was not only paramount but also vital for Israel's economy.

Asked what the risk of a bigger trade deficit and another ratings downgrade might mean for Israel, Barkat told Reuters: "Look, we're committed to win the war. We're going to win the war regardless of anything."

"I think when people look at the economy of Israel, they want to make sure, first of all, we're a secure ... country," he said during a visit to the United Arab Emirates for a ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization.

Barkat said Israel would borrow in the near-term. This borrowing, compounded with the economic impact of the war, would increase the debt to gross domestic product ratio - a measure of Israel's ability to repay its debt - from 62% to 70%, he said.

But Barkat, a member of Netanyahu's Likud party, said that did not concern him. He predicted the post-war economy would grow, gaining from an innovation boom in Israel's high-tech sector, a major contributor to the economy.
Israel is responding to Hamas's genocidal goals in its war with Israel. It is a worthwhile objective after Hamas's attempt to destroy Isreali civilization.


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