“As prime minister, I’m responsible for guaranteeing the future of this country,” Netanyahu said, according to the “Times of Israel,” promising to “eliminate Hamas by destroying its military and governance capabilities and to do everything possible to get our hostages back. My role is to lead all Israelis, the state of Israel and the people of Israel to an overpowering victory. It is now a time to come together for one purpose, to storm ahead, to achieve victory.”
Netanyahu also quoted Scripture.
“We shall realize the prophecy of Isaiah — ‘there will no longer be stealing at your borders, and your gates will be of glory,’” he said. “Together we will fight. Together we will win. Israel is in the midst of a fight for our existence. All Hamas members are dead men walking — above and below ground, inside and outside Gaza.”
Netanyahu first became prime minister in 1996, serving only one term, before winning re-election in 2009 on a mandate to tackle security challenges and the economy. Hamas two years earlier had wrested control of Gaza from the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority, and Netanyahu was presented with the challenge of managing what Israel considered a terrorist organization in its own backyard.
Netanyahu condemned as “cruel psychological propaganda” a video released on Monday by Hamas that shows three of the hostages seized by the Islamist movement. The video shows three woman identified by Netanyahu as Yelena Trupanob, Danielle Aloni and Rimon Kirsht sitting side by side against a bare wall, with Aloni addressing an angry message to the prime minister.
Accusing Netanyahu of failing to protect Israeli citizens during the deadly Hamas attack and failing to get them back home, she called for an agreement to secure their release in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.
Netanyahu called the attacks of October 7 a “black day in our history.”
“We will get to the bottom of what happened on the southern border and the Gaza-envelope area,” he said. “The debacle will be checked to the full. Everyone will have to give answers on the debacle — including myself — but all that will happen only after the war.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice