Tue. May 28th, 2024

ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has confirmed IDF army has stormed into Gaza in what he said was a “fight for our existence”.

The Israeli leader though warned it would be a “long and difficult war”.

ReutersBenjamin Netanyahu says the ground operation by IDF troops was the second stage in the war against Hamas[/caption]

The IDF shared footage of tanks massing the morning after the assault

AFPParts of Gaza City have been turned to rubble following the bombardment[/caption]

GettyIsraeli artillery fire pounded Gaza[/caption]

Netanyahu said troops had entered the Gaza Strip through the “gates of evil”.

He said the ground operation launched by IDF troops in Gaza was the second stage in a war against the Islamist group Hamas that would be long and difficult.

Netanyahu said additional Israeli ground forces have gone into what he called ” that stronghold of evil”, referring to Gaza, to “dismantle” Hamas and bring hostages home.

“Our fight inside the Gaza Strip will be long and difficult,” he said. “But we are prepared for that.”

Speaking at a televised news conference, he said every effort would be made to rescue the more than 200 hostages held by Hamas.

Netanyahu added the “supreme” goal of the operation was to “completely defeat the murderous enemy and guarantee our existence [as a state]”.

“There are moments in which a state faces two options – to exist or to cease [to exist].”

He vowed to “completely eliminate the military capabilities of Hamas”, describing the conflict as a “second war of independence”.

“We’ve always said, ‘Never again’,” he said. “Never again is now.”

He claimed that Israel was doing “everything it can” to avoid civilian casualties and accused Hamas of war crimes.

Netanyahu said soldiers fighting Hamas were joining a chain of Jewish heroes.

Describing a history that “started 3,000 years ago”, he compared today’s combatants to Joshua ben Nun, who succeeded Moses in leading the Israelites, to “the heroes of 1948, the Six-Day War” of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of October 1973.

Netanyahu also thanked Western leaders, including the US and UK, for standing with his country.

He said: “We will fight and we will win… this is the mission of our lives.”

It comes as:

Israel “expanded” their ground operations with a fresh bombardment and large raid into GazaIt followed smaller overnight tank assaults on Wednesday and ThursdayForces are also massing on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon to face down terror group HezbollahIsrael revealed Hamas’ alleged ‘Terror HQ’ hidden beneath a hospital in northern GazaFears are growing an invasion of Gaza could be the “bloodiest war for more than 100 years”And there could be just six steps between the Gaza crisis and all-out war in the Middle EastSAS forces are on standby in Cyprus to rescue Brits stranded in GazaVladimir Putin is feared to try and cash in on the war with a new “Axis of Terror”US forces continue to mass in the Middle East – striking Iran-backed militia groups with airstrikes

When asked about the hostages currently being held by Hamas, he said: “We have two goals, and the most supreme one is to completely eliminate the operational and governmental capabilities of Hamas and the second one is to bring back the hostages.”

Netanyahu’s comments come after Israel said the earth “shook” as it unleashed a punishing bombardment last night on Hamas.

Israel army officials have said Gaza City was now a “battlefield” as they stepped up their campaign against the killers behind the massacre of 1,400 people on October 7.

Hamas-run health authorities in the 25-mile territory have claimed so far some 7,300 civilians have been killed – including 3,000 children.

The terrorist group have been accused of using the region’s population as human shields as they hide in a network of tunnels, with some even allegedly burrowed beneath hospitals.

But the timeline for the full-scale invasion of the area – home to 2.3million people – remains unknown.

A Palestinian militant group in Gaza said it fired barrage of rockets Saturday evening on Tel Aviv and on Ashkelon and Ashdod in southern Israel.

The rockets by Al-Quds Brigades, the military arm of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, was the latest in a serious of rocket attacks on Israel on Saturday as Israeli forces continued its relentless air and land bombardment.

SkyAn Israeli airstrike hits a target in northern Gaza[/caption]

AFPNetanyahu says the war will be ‘long and difficult’[/caption]

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