Jason Cohen on October 28, 2023 (Daily Caller News Foundation)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Israel-Hamas conflict a “second war of independence” and pledged to annihilate the terrorist group Hamas in his first speech since the country expanded its ground operations in Gaza on Friday.
Netanyahu stated that the fight in Gaza will be long and challenging, but expressed faith in Israel’s ability to secure victory over Hamas in a speech on Saturday. The prime minister framed the conflict as a battle for Israel’s security and as a war of good against evil.
“Our fight inside the Gaza Strip will be long and difficult, but we are prepared for that,” Netanyahu stated. “This is our second war of independence. We will fight for the protection of our homeland and we will fight on the ground, in the air, in the sea and we will eliminate the enemy above the ground and beneath the ground,” Netanyahu said, channeling former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. “We will fight and we will win and this will be the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, life over death.”
Netanyahu also emphasized the unity of Israel’s military in his remarks despite the divisions that have existed within the country.
“We have exceptional soldiers — real heroes — both Jews and non-Jews, secular and religious, from the left wing, from the right win,” he said. “They are all united and filled with a combat spirit that I’ve never seen before.
Moreover, Netanyahu thanked the United States and President Joe Biden as well as Europe for their support and pledged to recover the hostages Hamas has taken, calling them “brothers and sisters.”
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced on Saturday that the war has entered a “new stage” following the expanded ground operations. The Israel Defense Forces sent in tanks and infantry backed by substantial strikes from the air and sea, according to The Associated Press.
“We moved to the next stage in the war,” Gallant said. “Last evening, the ground shook in Gaza. We attacked above ground and underground…The instructions to the forces are clear. The campaign will continue until further notice.”
Israel’s land invasion of Gaza is retaliation for the Oct.7 terrorist attack by Hamas that killed 1,400 Israelis and took over 200 people as hostages. Israel’s War Cabinet made the call to expand ground operations after negotiations with Hamas to release hostages reached an impasse, Axios reported, citing Israeli officials.
“Our hero troops — they have one supreme main goal — to completely defeat the murderous enemy and to guarantee our existence in this country,” Netanyahu said. “We’ve always said ‘never again.’ Never again is now.”