Israeli Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu convened his emergency unity government on Sunday morning for the first time, declaring: “Hamas thought it would break us apart — [but] we will break Hamas apart.”
The national unity government was formed last week when opposition leader Benny Gantz, a former general who leads the Blue and White opposition party, joined the government. Other parties, such as Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, remained in opposition.
Netanyahu referred, by implication, to the political unrest in Israel of the past year, during which Israelis were divided over the issue of judicial reform. Last week, he declared the country’s internal rivalries to be over, as Israel united in a war for its survival.
Netanyahu spoke Sunday as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) prepared a ground invasion of northern Gaza, the next stage of an operation whose goal is to destroy the Palestinian terrorist group.
Hamas murdered 1,300 Israelis and foreigners living in Israel in a massive terror attack last Saturday, October 7 — on the Jewish Sabbath and the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret, the last festival of the High Holy Day cycle. Hamas wounded over 3,600 Israelis, and kidnapped between 100 and 200 people — male and female, young and old, including the elderly, small children, and the disabled.
On Sunday, the front page of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot featured photographs of the many children kidnapped by Hamas or simply missing since the attack.
היום ב”ידיעות אחרונות”:
מחכים להסתער: בשטח הכינוס שעל גבול עזה ממתינים חיילי צה”ל לאות לטהר את עזה מהטרוריסטים השפלים ששולטים בה | יואב קרן pic.twitter.com/Fib8H3UczT
— ידיעות אחרונות (@YediotAhronot) October 15, 2023
Israelis who spoke with Breitbart News by phone expressed a mixture of emotions. Some were deeply sad; they had spent days attending funerals. Others were resolute: one said the unity Israel has experienced in the past week has been the country’s finest moment. Reservists have flocked to their units, even without being called up: the military has more volunteers than it can handle.
Meanwhile, preparations for an escalation of the war continue. Israel has evacuated the towns near the Gaza border; most of the 30,000 residents of Sderot, for example, have been evacuated to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, where some are being accommodated in hotels.
The Israeli military has declared the zone within four kilometers of the northern border with Lebanon to be closed to all but local residents, as the IDF prepares for a possible conflict with Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which has fired sporadic missiles into Israel and sparked several deadly clashes.
The Times of Israel notes that Hezbollah has fired four anti-tank guided missiles at IDF posts on Sunday. Thus far, Israel has responded by targeting each launch site but not launching a broader response.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected back in Israel tomorrow after a tour of the region’s capitals to urge opposition to Hamas and support for humanitarian efforts to help Gaza’s civilians. The U.S. has sent two aircraft carriers to the region in an effort to deter Iran from expanding the war.
Iran has threatened to escalate the war if Israel invades Gaza, and Russia and China are each attempting to stop Israel from invading by applying international pressure that the U.S., thus far, has been resisting.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
Originally Posted at : www.breitbart.com