The Israeli military has entered the “second stage” of its war against Hamas militants in Gaza, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a televised address on Saturday night. He also warned citizens to prepare for a long and difficult struggle ahead.
Netanyahu highlighted the impact of the initial weeks of airstrikes, stating that they had dealt a severe blow to the enemy and eliminated many terrorists. However, he emphasized that this was just the beginning of the battle in Gaza and compared it to Israel’s second War of Independence, stressing the nation’s determination to prevail.
The death toll in Gaza has exceeded 8,000 people, with half of them being children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-controlled Palestinian enclave. It remains unclear how many of the casualties were actual combatants.
Following Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel three weeks ago, which involved rocket strikes on Israeli towns and cities and raids on settlements near the Gaza border, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have expanded their operation. Netanyahu declared that the entry of additional ground forces into Gaza marks the beginning of the second stage of the war, with the goal of destroying the military and political capabilities of Hamas and rescuing kidnapped citizens.
Throughout Friday and Saturday nights, Israeli warplanes conducted airstrikes on Gaza, while ground troops and armor launched a significant incursion into the Palestinian enclave. However, it is unclear whether these ongoing ground operations will lead to a larger invasion. There are concerns that a full-scale invasion could result in heavy Israeli casualties and trigger an escalation with other regional players, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also announced that Israel has entered a new phase in the war and that ground operations will continue until new orders are given.
It’s important to note that this news article does not delve into the humanitarian crisis and the widespread destruction caused by the conflict. It mainly focuses on the statements made by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gallant regarding the military operations against Hamas. The article also mentions the high death toll and the potential consequences of a larger invasion.
As the conflict continues, it is crucial to consider the impact on innocent civilians and the urgent need for a peaceful resolution to prevent further loss of life and suffering.