Photo Credit: Etay Beit-On / GPO
Netanyahu at the Conference of Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations. Feb. 18, 2024

In his video address to the People of Israel on Sunday ahead of the week-long Passover holiday set to begin Monday at sunset, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu borrowed a passage from the Haggadah, the story of the Exodus from Egypt, to remind Israelis why indeed “this night is different” this year.

The prime minister vowed to “fight with all my powers” any sanctions the US is considering imposing on the IDF Netzach Yehuda battalion in response to allegations by the anti-Israel DAWN NGO.


READ: NGO Monitor Warns: Anti-Israel Group Behind Planned US Sanctions Against IDF’s Netzach Yehuda Unit

READ: Biden Administration Sanctions IDF’s Netzach Yehuda Battalion

Following is the full text of the prime minister’s address.
“Why is this night different, citizens of Israel?

On this night, 133 of our dear brothers and sisters are not around the Seder table, and they are still held hostage by Hamas in hellish conditions.

We have already freed 124 of our hostages and we are committed to returning them all home – the living and the deceased alike.

And why is this night not different?

That in every generation they rise up to destroy us, and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from them.

This time as well, we will overcome those who seek our lives – thanks to the faith of our people, the daring of our fighters and the unity among us.

On this Seder night, our hostages being held by Hamas are before our eyes. Their suffering and the suffering of their families rends our heart and only strengthens our resolve to bring them back. We are not relenting, not even for a moment, from our sacred mission to return them home.

Unfortunately, until now, all proposals for releasing the hostages have been rejected outright by Hamas. Therefore, the American Secretary of State rightly said that Hamas has refused every proposal that it has been presented with. In his words, the only thing preventing a hostage release deal is Hamas.

Instead of withdrawing from its extreme positions, Hamas is counting on a rift among us. It draws encouragement from the pressure being directed at the Government of Israel. As a result of this, it has only hardened its conditions for the release of our hostages. It is hardening its heart and refusing to let our people go.

Therefore, we will strike it with additional painful blows – and this will happen soon.

In the coming days, we will increase the military and diplomatic pressure on Hamas because this is the only way to free our hostages and achieve our victory.

Citizens of Israel, on the eve of Passover, when the people of Israel went forth from slavery to freedom, let us remember our fallen heroes, and our wounded fighters, thanks to whose sacrifice, we are free people.

The State of Israel is strong and the IDF is strong – both defensively and offensively. Our enemies cannot overcome us – we will overcome them.

I salute our heroic soldiers who are fighting on all fronts – on land, at sea and in the air. I embrace my fellow bereaved brothers and sisters, who have lost what is most dear.

My late brother Yoni, who fell in battle to return hostages, wrote the simple historic truth, that the IDF is the only factor standing in the breach and preventing the slaughter of our people as in the past.

I will strongly defend the IDF, our army and our fighters. If somebody thinks they can impose sanctions on a unit in the IDF – I will fight this with all my powers.

As our soldiers are united in defending us on the battlefield, we are united in defending them in the diplomatic arena.

Together we will fight and with G-d’s help, together we will win.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.