Ben Gvir, Smotrich call to expand Gaza war, invade southern Lebanon in Jerusalem Day speeches

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich call to to expand the war in Gaza and invade southern Lebanon during Jerusalem Day speeches at the Western Wall.

Leading the crowd in a chant of “victory,” Ben Gvir says that Israel will only win after it “enters all of Gaza and fights until victory.”

And for victory we need to go into the north and fight Hezbollah and destroy them,” he yells, to shouts of acclaim from the largely religious nationalist crowd. “We want victory!”

Directly addressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his speech, Smotrich calls on him to “give the order” and “go to war with Hezbollah.”

“Let our heroic warriors win, restore our national honor, national pride and security and allow the heroic residents to return home safely” to rebuild, he says. “The people of Israel are behind you!”

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