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Business News/ News / World/  PM Netanyahu says ‘do or die’ as Israel-Gaza war enters ‘long and difficult’ second stage

PM Netanyahu says ‘do or die’ as Israel-Gaza war enters ‘long and difficult’ second stage

Israeli military opens second stage in war against Hamas, intensifying attacks. Prime Minister Netanyahu says assault will lead to victory and bring back hostages.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AP)Premium
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AP)

The Israeli military has opened a second stage in the war against Hamas by sending ground forces into Gaza and expanding attacks from the ground, sea, and air, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night while warning that the assault would intensify ahead of a broad ground invasion into the territory. 

“There are moments in which a nation faces two possibilities: to do or die. We now face that test and I have no doubt how it will end: We will be the victors. We will do and we will be the victors," Netanyahu said as quoted by The Associated Press. 

Addressing a news conference here, Netanyahu said Israel is determined to bring back all the hostages, and maintained that the expanding ground operation will help the country in this mission. 

"I couldn’t reveal everything that is being done due to the sensitivity and secrecy of the efforts. This is the second stage of the war, whose objectives are clear: to destroy the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas and bring the hostages home," he said. 

“Our heroic soldiers have one supreme goal: to destroy the murderous enemy and ensure our existence in our land. We have always said, ‘Never again' ‘Never again’ is now," he added. 

Calling the October 7 terror attack on Israel a ‘debacle’, PM Netanyahu said that it would need a thorough investigation and everyone would have to answer questions including the Prime Minister himself, AP reported. 

The Palestinian death toll in Gaza rose Saturday to just over 7,700 people since the war began, with 377 deaths reported since late Friday, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Most of those killed have been women and minors, the ministry said.

The Israeli military also said it was gradually expanding its ground operations inside Gaza while stopping short of calling it an all-out invasion. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the chief military spokesman said, “We are proceeding with the stages of the war according to an organized plan."

Israel amassed hundreds of thousands of troops along the border. Until now, troops had conducted brief nightly ground incursions before returning to Israel. Despite the Israeli offensive, Palestinian militants have continued firing rockets into Israel, with the constant sirens in southern Israel a reminder of the threat.

An estimated 1,700 people remain trapped beneath the rubble, according to the health ministry, which has said it bases its estimates on distress calls it received.

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution calling for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce" between Israel and Hamas terrorists in Gaza. However, India has abstained from a call for the protection of civilians and upholds legal and humanitarian obligations.

The General Assembly has adopted the draft resolution with 120 votes in favor, 12 against, and 45 abstentions. The 45 nations that abstained from voting on the resolution included Iceland, India, Panama, Lithuania, and Greece.


(With AP inputs)

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Published: 29 Oct 2023, 08:35 AM IST
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