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Netanyahu Calls for Emergency Government, United Behind Him

Oct. 10, 2023, (EIRNS)—Last night Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the opposition to join a national unity government and laid out five tasks for that government. “First, defeating those terrorists still in Israel and preventing others from entering—an operation that is ongoing,” reported the Times of Israel on its live update page for Oct. 9. Secondly, “moving to a massive, unprecedented offensive operation against Hamas, that is now underway.” Thirdly, “keeping other fronts quiet—in the north, facing Hezbollah, in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], and inside Israel.” Fourth is “continuing to recruit international support for the operation ‘and preserve Israel’s freedom of action.’ ” Finally, “and most importantly, solidifying Israel’s national unity.”

Now “the leadership must unify,” Netanyahu said, and called on the leaders of the opposition to immediately establish “an emergency national unity government with no pre-conditions,” as happened under Menachem Begin in the June 1967 Six-Day War. He said Israel has only just begun to hit Hamas and that the pictures of destruction in Gaza “are only the start. We have wiped out hundreds of terrorists and we won’t stop there.”

The “massive, unprecedented offensive operation against Hamas” is likely to include a ground invasion of Gaza. Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, writing in Axios yesterday, reported that Netanyahu told Biden on Oct. 8 that Israel does not have any choice but to unleash a ground operation in Gaza. “We have to go in,” the Israeli leader said, according to three Israeli and U.S. sources briefed on the call. Ravid says that Netanyahu’s message signals what his country’s response to Hamas’ attack will look like in the days and weeks ahead, in what the Israeli Prime Minister has said will be a “long and difficult war.”

Of note, according to Ravid’s sources, Biden raised the issue of Israeli hostages in Gaza, to which Netanyahu replied: “We have to go in. We can’t negotiate now.”

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