Israeli PM Netanyahu Vows to Eliminate Hamas in Gaza Conflict

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, declared on Saturday night that the IDF has been fighting in the Gaza Strip to drive out “evil” and “bring back” hostages. He also pledged to “completely eliminate” Hamas. He declared to the people of Israel that the current ground operation represents the second stage of the war against Hamas, in which Israeli “good” will ultimately prevail over “evil.” Netanyahu continued, stating he talked with families of those believed to be imprisoned in Gaza today and that his “heart is broken.” He said that the IDF is exploring every avenue to return captives to their loved ones. Only a day earlier, Israel had said that it would be extending its ground operations into Gaza; however, as of yet, no significant invasion appears to have taken place.

“This is just the beginning,” Mr. Netanyahu declared, adding that “the war inside the Gaza Strip will be long and difficult.” This is the second phase of the conflict, with the stated goals being to bring the hostages home and destroy Hamas’s military and political infrastructure. ‘We’ve always said never again. Never again is now.’

Just moments after Netanyahu finished his speech to the country, rocket sirens could be heard all throughout Tel Aviv, sending Israelis running for cover. “Israel is fighting not only its own war but a war for the whole of humanity, a fight against barbarism,” Mr. Netanyahu continued.

He also criticised other Middle Eastern leaders and demonstrators worldwide for accusing Israel of war crimes, calling such accusations “hypocritical” in light of the fact that the October 7 attack by Hamas claimed the lives of over 1,400 people.

The Israeli prime minister reiterated allegations that Hamas exploits hospitals as bases and utilises Palestinians as human shields, urging those who remained in northern Gaza to move south. When Mr. Netanyahu met with the relatives of the hostages held in Gaza, he admitted that he felt “helpless,” but he also assured them that their loved ones’ recovery is not being treated as a “side mission,” but rather as an essential component of the fight. Hamas is now holding up to 229 people as hostages in Gaza.

It was reported earlier on Saturday that the Hamas leadership declared it was prepared to release them, but that in exchange, they wanted the release of all Hamas prisoners. “There are moments when a nation faces two options: to exist or to cease,” the Prime Minister said. “We’re now in the middle of this kind of test, and I know exactly how it will turn up. We’re going to win this. We are going to win.” “Massive airstrikes were launched on the enemy in the early stages of the fight, and in recent days, the force has been augmented to support our safe entry from the ground. We have taken out innumerable killers and destroyed the terrorist organisation, but we have only just begun.”

“This is Israel’s second war of independence. We shall engage in combat on land, in the air, and in the sea to defend our homeland. We are going to destroy the adversary both above and below the surface. In this war, we shall stand solidly together, more united than ever, confident in our righteous path. We will fight and conquer, and this will be the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and life over death. This is the mission of our lives, the mission of my life.”

Following the Prime Minister, the Israeli Defence Minister emphasised that the state has no intention of “expanding” but that the IDF is dealing “heavy blows” to Hamas. More than twenty-four hours after crossing into Palestinian territory during the first three weeks of the conflict with Hamas, the Israeli army reported earlier on Saturday that ground units were in action in the northern Gaza Strip. ‘Combined combat forces comprising armour, combat engineers, and infantry have been operating on the ground in the northern Gaza Strip since early Friday evening,’ an army statement stated.

Although there have been a few smaller-scale ground incursions by Israeli forces into Gaza, this is the longest that they have stayed there since the hostilities began on October 7 with a deadly attack by Hamas. With the heavy bombing assault that took place overnight, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant earlier on Saturday declared that the war had “entered a new phase.” “The earth trembled in Gaza last night.” Galant referred to the system of military tunnels Hamas has constructed beneath Gaza in a video statement. “We attacked above ground and below ground,” the statement read. “The forces have been given clear instructions: the action will continue until further notice.”

Israel will listen to its friends and allies, but in the end, according to War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz, it will take action to safeguard its own interests and on its own schedule. Reporters on the ground in Gaza have documented bombing that is unprecedented in its ferocity, raising worries for innocent civilians within the world’s humanitarian community.

More than 7,700 people, according to the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Authority, have died as a result of Israeli offensives. Additionally, all internet and mobile service was disrupted last night as tanks entered Gaza, keeping relatives and humanitarian organisations in the dark about the situation there. The 2.3 million people stranded in the beleaguered Gaza Strip are not receiving nearly enough aid, despite Egypt’s previous accusations that Israel is causing “logistical difficulties.”

According to Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, the timely delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Palestinian enclave is being impeded by “Israeli obstacles,” such as truck inspection procedures. This was said on Saturday. According to a ministry spokesperson, “the trucks must be inspected at the Israeli Nitzana crossing before they head to the Rafah crossing, which causes obstacles that significantly delay the arrival of aid.” The trip to the Rafah crossing is approximately 100 km (62 miles) long.

Egypt-controlled Rafah crossing, which does not border Israel, has emerged as the primary route of aid distribution since Israel besieged Gaza on October 7 in reprisal for an offensive by Hamas terrorists from the coastal strip.

Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated against the ongoing bombardment of the Gaza Strip on Saturday in public spaces all over the world. In the lead-up to tonight’s press conference, Israel increased its rhetoric and earlier released pictures of its ground forces entering Gaza.

A spokeswoman for the Israel Defence soldiers (IDF) stated, “The forces are still on the ground and are continuing the war,” as she unveiled a brief 15-second video on Saturday that shows armoured vehicles gathered in what the military claims is Palestinian land. In the course of nocturnal operations on 150 “underground targets,” the IDF claimed to have assassinated Asem Abu Rakaba, the presumed mastermind of Hamas’ alleged aerial incursion into the nation three weeks prior, and naval commander Ratab Abu Tshaiban.

Other Hamas members were killed when warplanes attacked sites in north Gaza, including the organization’s tunnels, underground combat zones, and other subsurface infrastructure. The fighters of Hamas’ armed branch, the al-Qassam brigades, claimed to be engaged in combat with Israeli forces in the central region of Al-Bureij and the northeastern town of Beit Hanoun in Gaza. The statement read, “All Palestinian resistance forces, including the Al-Qassam Brigades, are fully prepared to thwart the incursions and confront the aggression with full force.”

Reporters were informed by a representative of the Palestinian Health Ministry that the health network has been “completely paralysed” by the communication outage. Emergency personnel were searching for individuals in need by following the sounds of artillery barrages and aircraft, while residents were unable to contact ambulances. The health ministry, which says it based its estimations on distress calls it received, estimates that 1,700 people are still buried beneath the rubble. Some civilians were using their bare hands to pull injured people from the rubble and loading them into personal cars or donkey carts to rush them to the hospital.

Local news outlets released a video showing Palestinians racing down a destroyed street carrying a wounded man who was lying on a stretcher, wincing and with his eyes closed, covered in dust from the fall of a building. The men yelled, “Ambulance! Ambulance!” as they pushed the stretcher into the rear of a pickup truck and yelled, “Go! Go!” at the driver. Some Gaza residents went to check on friends and family by automobile or on foot.

One of the few persons in downtown Gaza with mobile service, Hind al-Khudary, a journalist, said, “There were bombs everywhere, the building was shaking. We are unable to get in touch with or reach anyone. My family is somewhere, but I don’t know.” Israel claims that it targets Hamas members and infrastructure in its raids because the militants operate among people, endangering them.

To put an end to the fighting in Gaza, the World Health Organisation called on “the humanity in all those who have the power to do so.” Every hour, more people get hurt. But during the communications outage, ambulances are unable to get to them. Every mortuary is filled. In a statement, it stated that women and children make up more than half of the deceased and raised “grave concerns” on reports of bombardment near hospitals in the northern sector of Gaza.