Netanyahu says Israel’s divisions are over, urges opposition to join unity government ‘without preconditions’

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls on the opposition to join a national unity government with “no preconditions,” as was done on the eve of the 1967 Six Day War.

He says he ordered five actions at the start of the war:

First, defeating those terrorists still in Israel and preventing others from entering — an operation that is ongoing.

Second, moving to a massive, unprecedented offensive operation against Hamas, that is now underway.

Third, keeping other fronts quiet — in the north, facing Hezbollah, in Judea and Samaria, and inside Israel. He praises the security forces for their indefatigable work in all these areas.

Fourth, continuing to recruit international support for the operation “and preserve Israel’s freedom of action.”

And finally, and most importantly, solidifying Israel’s national unity. “The divisions amongst us are ended. We are all united. And when we are united, we win,” he declares.

Now “the leadership must unify,” he says, and call on the leaders of the opposition to immediately establish “an emergency national unity government with no pre-conditions,” as happened under Menachem Begin in the Six Day War.

He says Israel has only just begun to hit Hamas and that the pictures of destruction in Gaza “are only the start. We have wiped out hundreds of terrorists and we won’t stop there.”

Wherever Hamas operates, “we will turn into a city of ruins.”

He says he is in “constant contact with President Biden” and thanks the US for its support for Israel’s security “in word and deed.”

The US aircraft carrier on its way to the area sends a message that “our common enemies well understand.”

He also thanks many other world leaders for unprecedented support.

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