Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a wartime speech Saturday in which he warned the nation’s allies that they’ll be next if Israel loses its war against Hamas.
“Many people in the world now very well understand what we have argued all these years, [which is that] Israel is fighting not only its own war, but rather this is the war of humanity in its entirety — the human fight against barbarism,” he said, according to a translation.
“Our allies in the Western world and our partners in the Arab world all understand today that if Israel doesn’t win, they will be next in this conquest tour of this axis of evil,” he added.
According to Mediaite, Netanyahu defined the “axis of evil” as “Iran, Hezbollah, and their minions” in a separate speech delivered earlier this month.
Listen to the latest speech in full below:
The speech began with him describing Israel’s latest offensive in Gaza.
“People of Israel, last night, additional ground forces from Israel entered Gaza at the gates of the complex of evil — the hall of evil. The goals of this war are very clear: to completely eliminate the military capabilities of Hamas and to bring back the captives home,” he said.
“We decided on expanding the ground operations both in the war cabinet and in our political insecurity cabinet. We did this in a very educated manner, taking into consideration the responsibility to guarantee the fate of this country and the safety of our troops,” he added.
Netanyahu continued by praising Israel’s troops and assuring them that the Israeli people have their backs.
“The troops that are fighting in enemy territory right now know that the people as well as the leadership of this country are behind them. Over the past few days, I met with the troops in their bases both in the south and in the north. We have a wonderful Army. We have exceptional soldiers, real heroes, both Jews and non Jews, secular and religious, from the left wing from the right wing,” he said.
“They are all united and filled with a combat spirit that I’ve never seen before. They are willing to fight full force against an enemy that there is no other enemy as cruel as it is. They want to retaliate for the horrific acts that these people conducted against our children, parents, sisters, brothers, and friends. They are committed to completely eliminating this evil from the world for our existence — and let me add, for the benefit of all of humanity,” he added.
How Israel’s ground operation in the Gaza Strip is going: an analysis by the Military Chronicle
The activity of hostilities is gradually increasing, but there is no talk of street fighting yet.
Where are the Israeli troops now?
The bulk of Israeli infantry and armored forces… pic.twitter.com/Qn52Y4B5Yj
— Sprinter (@Sprinter99800) October 29, 2023
Netanyahu then more clearly outlined Israel’s goals and also slammed those critics who have accused it of committing war crimes in Gaza.
“Our hero troops, they have one supreme, main goal: to completely defeat the murderous enemy and to guarantee our existence in this country. We’ve always said never again. Never again is now. And today I also met with the families of the captives, the hostages, bereaved parents,” he said.
“And my heart is broken, and I reiterated and said to them that at every stage until this point and from now on we will exhaust every opportunity to bring back our abducted brothers and sisters to the warm embrace of their families. Their abduction is a crime against humanity,” he continued.
“Anybody who dares accuse our troops of conducting war crimes are people who are completely hypocritical liars who don’t have an inkling of morality in them. The IDF is the most moral and ethical military in the world. It is doing everything it can in order to prevent harming those that are uninvolved. And once, again I call upon those who are non-combatants in the Gaza Strip to go further south,” he added.
And lastly, after accusing Hamas of committing actual war crimes and after warning its allies that they may be next, Netanyahu concluded his speech by stressing Israel’s right to exist.
“We would like to clarify that there’s one thing that we must recognize: there are moments in which a nation faces two options — to exist or to seize. And right now this is the kind of test we’re facing, and I have no doubt how it will end. We will come out triumphant. We will triumph. In the first weeks of the war, there were massive air strikes against the enemy,” he said.
“We increased force over the past few days in order to help our forces enter from the ground in the safest manner. We have eliminated countless murderers and we’ve eradicated the infrastructure of terrorism, and it’s only the beginning of the road. Our fight inside the Gaza Strip will be long and difficult, but we are prepared for that. This is our second war of independence. We will fight for the protection of our homeland, and we will fight on the ground, in the air, in the sea,” he added.
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