“This is Our Second War of Independence”: Netanyahu Declares Israel Expanding Military Operation in Gaza
Netanyahu: “Israel is fighting not only its war, but humanity’s war against the barbarians.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has formally announced the beginning of a large-scale ground offensive against terrorist group Hamas in Gaza. The aim of the military operation, which began Friday night, was the “destruction of Hamas’s military and governing capabilities; and returning the hostages home,” he revealed at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening.
After three weeks of operations, the Israeli military was ready to enter Hamas-controlled Gaza. “In first weeks of war, we have dealt severe blow to enemy to ensure safest possible entry for our ground forces,” Israeli prime minister said.
“Our commanders and soldiers fighting in enemy territory know that the nation and the national leadership stand behind them,” he said. “They are determined to eradicate this evil from the world, for our existence and, I add, for all of humanity.”
By taking on the Islamist group Hamas and its terrorist allies, Israel was at the forefront of defending civilization against the forces of barbarism, the Israeli leader declared.
“Israel is fighting not only its war, but humanity’s war against the barbarians,” he said about the military operation launched in response to October 7 massacre in which 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, were murdered by Hamas terrorists.
Netanyahu: 'Never Again is now. This is Israel's second War of Independence, a war for our very survival that will be long and tough, and we shall prevail' pic.twitter.com/B6tFf05PmB
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) October 28, 2023
The Israeli news website Ynet reported:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday underscored the significance of the ongoing war against Hamas, calling it a “second Independence War” and his “life’s mission.”
“This is our second War of Independence; we are fighting to defend our homeland, and we will eradicate the enemy from above and below the ground. It will be a triumph of good over evil, life over death. This is our life’s mission – my life’s mission,” he said during a joint press conference alongside Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz.
“We will be victorious. In the first weeks of the war, we have dealt a severe blow to the enemy to ensure the safest possible entry for our forces on the ground, and we are only at the beginning of the path. The battle within the Gaza Strip will be tough and protracted.”
He also addressed the launch of Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza, which he said received unanimous support from members of the emergency wartime Cabinet.
“On Friday evening, additional ground forces entered the Gaza Strip. This marks the second phase of the war. We have decided to expand the ground offensive.” Netanyahu added, “We are determined to settle the score with the murderers as they deserve for the heinous acts they have committed. We’ve always said to the world, ‘Never again – Never again is now.'”
Netanyahu, defense minister vow to bring back hostages
Speaking at the press conference, Netanyahu also vowed to “utilize every opportunity to return our kidnapped brothers and sisters to their families’ embrace.” The IDF estimates that at least 230 hostages, including women, toddler and elderly, were in Hamas’ captivity.
Prime Minister’s promise was followed by the remarks of Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who declared that the freeing of the hostages was one of the primary objectives of the military operation and “not a secondary mission.”
The Times of Israel reported:
Speaking after Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says there is not one moment he is not thinking about the hostages.
“Over the last day, we advanced to a new stage” in the war, he says. “The strength of the fire shook the ground in Gaza, and it’s different from anything Hamas has experienced since its creation.
“IDF forces are maneuvering in the relevant places, and are striking Hamas arrays right now, above ground and underground.”
“Hamas is suffering shocks it has never suffered,” he says.
Gallant says Israeli forces in Gaza are receiving all the intelligence and supportive fire they need, adding the operation is precise, lethal and extremely powerful.
Gallant says he “has full faith” in the IDF chief of staff, the heads of Shin Bet and Mossad, and the soldiers in the field.
He stresses Israel doesn’t want to expand the war, but is ready if anyone else gets involved.
Gallant also says the country is taking care of the reservists, those living near the combat areas and those who have had leave their houses.
Turning to the hostages, Gallant says Israel is doing everything it can to bring the hostages back. “It is not a secondary mission.”
“Let’s not delude ourselves, our enemies are not looking for humanitarian solutions.”
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