'Every Hamas member is a dead man': Israel warns

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has for the first time in clear terms has expressed his government’s intention to destroy Hamas militants, following its surprise attack on Saturday. “Hamas is Daesh (Islamic State group) and we will crush them and destroy them as the world has destroyed Daesh,” he said in a brief televised statement, the first delivered jointly with his war cabinet.

“Every Hamas member is a dead man,” Netanyahu said. Defence Minister Yoav Gallant added “we will wipe Hamas off the face of the earth”.

As Israel battles it s worst crisis in decades after the deadliest assault on Israel in 50 years,Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Unity party leader Benny Gantz announced a landmark agreement to form a unity government to navigate the crisis. In retaliation to the Hamas attack, Israel has retaliated by amassing troops near the Gaza border and its planes have been bombing targets in the Gaza Strip as the crisis escalated to the sixth day.

Speaking for the fourth time after the Hamas attack, Netanyahu said: “The Jewish (Israel) Nation is united and now its leadership is also united.” He described Hamas as worse than ISIS and said that every family in Israel is in some way connected to a victim of the attacks.

“We will all fight together for our home,” he added and described the “unprecedented” support that Israel has received from world leaders.

Opposition leader Benny Gantz said, “We are all one, we are all enlisting, we have all enlisted [in the fight]. There is only one camp, the camp of the Nation of Israel,” he said adding that the new partnership with Netanyahu is not a political one, but one of fate.

“All of Israel is under an Order Number 8 (the order sent to reservists for an emergency wartime call up),” said Gantz adding that such unity in government is what the Israeli people want and need.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will reach Israel today in a show of solidarity while the UN Security Council will meet on Israel, Gaza on Friday.

Meanwhile Israeli has said that schools, which have been shuttered, will shift to remote learning from Sunday. In response to rocket attack by Hezbollah, Israeli is shelling hit southern Lebanese towns. Meanwhile, many governments around the world, including India, are making arrangements for repatriation flights to bring their citizens back home as the crisis escalates.

Hamas militants, who are estimated to have been holding around 150 Israeli soldiers and civilians hostages, have threatened to execute a captive for each home in Gaza hit without warning. (With Agency Inputs)

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William Murphy

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