Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and former Defense Minister and National Camp chairman Benny Gantz vowed publicly Wednesday night to “wipe out Hamas.” The full text of their remarks follows the video.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
“Citizens of Israel, tonight we established a national emergency government. The people of Israel are united, and today their leadership is also united.
We put aside all other considerations, because the fate of our country is at stake. We will work together, shoulder to shoulder for the citizens of Israel, for the State of Israel.
The nation unites in moments of grief and sorrow; this unity breaks through our borders, it reaches all over the world. We saw this yesterday in President [Joe] Biden’s important and moving speech.
We are fighting with all our strength, on all fronts. We have gone on the offensive: every Hamas member is a dead man.
Hamas is ISIS, and it will be crushed and eliminated just as the world crushed and eliminated ISIS.
I wish to salute the fighters, the members of the security and rescue forces who operate in all sectors around the clock. The entire nation of Israel stands behind you.
I say to you, the citizens of Israel, and I say here to my friends, I say to all of you, the words of the Prophet Isaiah: ‘A man helps his neighbor and to his brother he says,’Be strong.’
The nation of Israel lives, and together we will win.”
Defense Minister Yoav Galant
“On Saturday, a murderous attack was launched on us, more serious than any other terrorist attack that has ever occurred in the world.
Thousands of terrorists attacked with the aim of destroying, murdering, looting and slaughtering.
I have served the State of Israel as a soldier and fighter for 47 years; I have seen many difficult events, [but] I have never seen such an event.
The Prime Minister has described, let me add, children who were kidnapped one by one and murdered, people who were burned alive, barbaric acts that the Jewish people have not experienced since 1945.
These things were stopped by only one thing: the bravery of our fighters.
I saw the IDF special forces storming in together with the Israel Police and Shin Bet agents, losing friends and rescuing hostages. I saw a Border Police officer who ran out of ammunition, crawl to the body of a terrorist, take a grenade, throw it into the other room and eliminate the terrorist who was lurking there.
I say from this place to everyone: We will obliterate this thing called Hamas / ISIS Gaza, wipe it off the face of the earth. This thing will not continue to exist.
There will no longer be a situation where Israeli children are murdered and we then move on to the next item on the agenda; we will eradicate this phenomenon.
I send strength to the citizens of Israel — I know this is a difficult hour — and I thank and support the IDF soldiers, Israel Police officers and commanders who are doing sacred work in every place.”
National Camp Chairman Benny Gantz
“Our standing here, shoulder to shoulder, is a clear message to our enemies, and more importantly, a message to all citizens of Israel: we are all together, we are all mobilizing.
Our partnership is not political; it is a partnership in destiny.
All citizens of Israel are partners in destiny, and together we will shape our destiny and reality. At this time, we are all soldiers of the State of Israel.
This is the time to gather together and win. This is not the time for difficult questions: this is the time for overwhelming answers on the battlefield.
I would like to address all the citizens of Israel and tell them the enemy will be destroyed, security will be restored, and in the killing fields where our heroes fell they will build. The entire State of Israel will once again prosper and become stronger.”