War minister Benny Gantz, speaking at a press conference following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, says it is “not too late” to amend a wartime budget update, and redirect funding from non-war coalition interests to the war effort.
“In days like these, leadership is tested, and we need to show it,” he says, turning to Netanyahu. “Wider national considerations” must take precedence, he adds.
Gantz says the expansion of the ground offensive to southern Gaza disproves the doubters who thought the war would not resume after last week’s truce.
“Only Israel will determine its fate,” he says, noting that Israel will act, in the south and the north, as it sees necessary.
He sends condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers and discusses the “complicated, painful and important” meeting earlier this afternoon with the families of hostages and with returned hostages, saying the cabinet must keep its door open to them 24/7.
He praises the soldiers risking their lives in the mission to return hostages, and the families for their “inspirational struggle.”
Even when the war ends, Gantz says, there will be “months and years” of IDF operations and “stabilizing the reality.”
He says the solidarity of returned hostages for those whose loved ones are still in Gaza is a testament to the strength of Israeli society and urges his cabinet colleagues to display leadership.
“Through our military and social strength, we will win. With our unity, the courage of our soldiers, and the leadership we will display, we will overcome our enemies,” he says.