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Netanyahu Vows to Eliminate Hamas: 'We Are Going to Change the Middle East'

Michael Foust | Crosswalk Headlines Contributor | Updated: Oct 12, 2023
Netanyahu Vows to Eliminate Hamas: 'We Are Going to Change the Middle East'

Netanyahu Vows to Eliminate Hamas: 'We Are Going to Change the Middle East'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday compared Hamas to ISIS, telling the nation and the world in a televised speech that Israel “didn’t start this war” but “will finish it.”

His comments were the first since his Saturday speech and made clear that Israel’s war against Hamas will be extensive and historic, likely changing the region permanently.  

As of Tuesday, more than 1,000 Israeli citizens had been killed in Hamas’ terrorist attack on the nation, with more than 100 citizens taken hostage. Hamas is vowing to kill the hostages and post videos of the killings -- much like ISIS did years ago. Hamas terrorists attacked the nation on Saturday.  

“Israel is at war. We didn’t want this war,” Netanyahu said. “It was forced upon us in the most brutal and savage way. But though Israel didn’t start this war, Israel will finish it. Once, the Jewish people were stateless. Once, the Jewish people were defenseless. No longer. Hamas will understand that by attacking us, they have made a mistake of historic proportions. We will exact a price that will be remembered by them and Israel’s other enemies for decades to come.”

Of the 1,000 dead, some 260 were killed at a musical festival in Israel near the Gaza border. Hamas also beheaded Israeli soldiers, according to reports. The “atrocities carried out by Hamas have not been seen since the atrocities of ISIS,” the prime minister said. He described “children bound and executed with the rest of their families, young girls and boys shot in the back, executed, and other atrocities that I will not describe here.”

“The savage attacks that Hamas perpetrated against innocent Israelis are mind-boggling: slaughtering families in their homes, massacring hundreds of young people at an outdoor festival, kidnapping scores of women, children and elderly, even Holocaust survivors,” Netanyahu said. “Hamas terrorists bound, burned, and executed children. They are savages. Hamas is ISIS. And just as the forces of civilization united to defeat ISIS, the forces of civilization must support Israel in defeating Hamas.”

Netanyahu thanked U.S. President Joe Biden “for his unequivocal support” and expressed gratitude to leaders across the world “who are standing with Israel today.” He also thanked the “people and Congress of the United States of America.” 

“We have always known what Hamas is. Now the whole world knows,” he said. “... In fighting Hamas, Israel is not only fighting for its own people. It is fighting for every country that stands against barbarism. Israel will win this war, and when Israel wins, the entire civilized world wins.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu told Israelis that “there is a lot of fake news” circulating that has the goal of dividing the nation -- “like the false, the fake news [that] Egyptian intelligence tipped off Israel before the war, something that never happened.”

“We should not fall into those traps, and we must pack ourselves with the most important things in our war — resilience and strength,” he said. “It will take time, the citizens of Israel. But I promise you, at the end of this campaign, all our enemies will know very well it was a grave mistake to attack Israel.”

On Monday, Netanyahu told officials in Jerusalem, “What Hamas will experience will be difficult and terrible. … We are going to change the Middle East.”

Photo Courtesy: ©Getty Images/Amir Levy/Stringer

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Netanyahu Vows to Eliminate Hamas: 'We Are Going to Change the Middle East'