Hamas has declared war on Israel, IDF spokesman Richard Hecht told journalists in a briefing on Saturday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political opponents have declared their readiness to join together in the battle against Hamas.
Opposition Leader Yair Lapid called for an “emergency government” to manage what he called “the difficult and complex operation ahead of us.”
“The State of Israel is at war. It won’t be easy, and it won’t be short. It has strategic consequences which we haven’t seen for many years. There is a serious risk that it will become a multi-front war,” Lapid said in an announcement.
Lapid said he met with Netanyahu and told him that “in this emergency situation I’m willing to put aside our differences and form an emergency, narrow, professional government with him to manage the difficult and complex operation ahead of us.”
Benny Gantz, Leader of the opposition National Unity party, said earlier that Israel is “completely unified.”
“I want to say clearly, in a way that resonates from Gaza, via Beirut, to Tehran: The entire people of Israel are united,” Gantz said. “All Israel’s citizens stand behind the security forces, and the government has the backing to charge a heavy, painful and effective price in order that an event like this is not repeated.”
In light of the recent internal struggles in Israel between the right and the left, Gantz said that “There is no coalition and opposition now…just a single fist that will pound the enemy.”
“It must be honestly said: the results of this attack are grave. Soon, some of the rumors will be confirmed as bad and painful news for us all. I send my condolences to the families of the fallen… and pray for the recovery of all the injured.”
He said that Israel “can be taken by surprise, but it cannot be beaten, as we will prove this time as well.”
Netanyahu spoke with President Biden, about what Biden called “the horrific and ongoing attacks in Israel.”
“The United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, and I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel. Terrorism is never justified. Israel has a right to defend itself and its people. The United States warns against any other party hostile to Israel seeking advantage in this situation. My Administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering,” Biden said in a statement.
On 9/11, Biden opened the way for international banks to transfer $6 billion in frozen Iranian assets from South Korea and Qatar without fear of sanctions in exchange for the release of five American citizens detained in Iran.
Many critics said at the time that the money would be used to fund terrorism by Iranian proxies like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza and the West Bank.