JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has delivered a stark message to the terror group that committed countless war crimes and massacred more than 1,300 Israeli citizens: “Every member of Hamas is a dead man.”
President Isaac Herzog told foreign journalists Thursday that Israel is preparing for a “long and drawn-out campaign against Hamas” as the Israel Defense Forces continued to hammer Hamas targets inside the Gaza Strip and amassed troops on the border for a potential ground invasion.
Israel says the heavy airstrikes are crippling Hamas despite the terror group still firing rockets into southern Israel.
“We are destroying Hamas’s ability to function as a sovereign; it is no longer managing to administer Gaza,” Israel’s top military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Thursday.
Casualties Rise as War Rages On
Meanwhile, the death toll continues to climb. More than 1,300 Israelis have been killed since Hamas’ assault began, and Gaza officials say at least 1,200 people have died in the airstrikes.
Israel ordered a “complete siege” of Gaza after Hamas went on a murderous rampage in southern Israel. Egypt has rejected proposals to establish humanitarian corridors out of Gaza for Palestinians fleeing the fighting, raising concerns about a humanitarian crisis.
Energy Minister Israel Katz said Thursday that no electricity or water will be supplied to Gaza until the hostages Hamas took are returned.
“Humanitarian aid to Gaza? No electrical switch will be turned on, no water pump will be opened and no fuel truck will enter until the Israeli abductees are returned home,” he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Humanitarianism for humanitarianism. And no one can preach morality to us.”
Netanyahu Forms Emergency Unity Government
On Wednesday night, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced a national emergency government with Benny Gantz, former IDF Chief of Staff, and head of the National Unity Party.
“People of Israel, tonight we created a national emergency government. Israel is united, and tonight its leaders are united too. We’ve put aside every other consideration because the fate of our country is laid on the table,” said Netanyahu.
Netanyahu expressed horror at what Hamas has done, saying, “We saw boys and girls bound, who were shot in the head. Men and women burned alive. Young women who were raped and slaughtered. Soldiers who were beheaded.”
Gantz said the newly formed unity government is ready to “wipe this thing called Hamas off the face of the Earth.”
Hamas’ Terror Exposed
After a three-day battle, IDF forces took back the village of Be’eri. Major General Itai Veruv described what happened, saying, “People that were captured, their hands were locked, and someone kills them, children in the same room, and someone came and killed them all. Fifteen girls, teenagers, were put in the same room, and they threw a hand grenade, and it’s over. This is a massacre. This is a pogrom.”
Israeli leaders compared Hamas to ISIS and found an ISIS flag in a kibbutz taken over by Hamas terrorists.
Hamas brought ISIS flags to massacre Israeli children, women and men.
Hamas is a genocidal terrorist organization.
Hamas is worse than ISIS pic.twitter.com/j3BagCudor
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 12, 2023
Up north, a false alarm sent a million Israelis into bomb shelters on Wednesday night, but the situation remains tense with many wary of an attack by Hezbollah and a two-front war. The IDF has deployed reservists to the Israeli towns on the border with Lebanon to ensure the safety of the residents.
US Working to Rescue Hostages & Supply Military Aid
Israel estimates Hamas kidnapped more than 160 hostages from numerous nations, including Israelis. President Joe Biden told a roundtable of Jewish leaders that he is “doing a lot” to rescue those Americans held hostage by Hamas, stating, “We want to make it real clear we’re working on every aspect of the hostage crisis in Israel, including deploying experts to advise and assist with recovery efforts … I have not given up hope of bringing these folks home.”
Citizens from 36 nations are missing, murdered, or hostages. CBN News interviewed a woman named Sasha Ariev. Hamas kidnapped her sister Karina out of an IDF base on the border.
“Maybe you don’t see me crying but I’m broken and devastated inside,” said Sasha. “I’m just trying to keep it together for my family, both parents and my sister…And to believe and spread the hope that she and all the other hostages and missing people will come soon back home.”
The U.S. administration is rushing resources to Israel, including a carrier strike group, F-35 and F-15 fighter jets, needed ammunition, and interceptors to replenish the Iron Dome aerial defense system. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived Thursday in a show of U.S. support and meetings with Netanyahu.
Meanwhile, concerns are growing of further violence after former Hamas leader Khaled Mashal called on Muslims worldwide to stage a day of jihad or holy war on Friday, October 13th.
Join CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell and CBN Israel National Director Dan Carlson for important updates on Israel and an extended time of prayer. Thursday, October 12 at 12 Noon ET Here: