Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the goal of the war against the Palestinian Hamas is to “defeat the murderous enemy and ensure our existence on our land.” The Israel Defense Forces has urged Gazans to temporarily relocate to the south. Saudi Arabia condemns Israel’s actions.
Benjamin Netanyahu said during a press conference on Saturday that the second stage of the war against Hamas began on Friday evening with the entry of more ground forces into the Gaza Strip. War goals Israel are clear – “the destruction of Hamas’s military and political capabilities; and the return of the hostages home,” said the Israeli Prime Minister.
Netanyahu noted that the decision to launch the ground operation was made unanimously by both the War Cabinet and the Security Cabinet.
According to the Israeli Prime Minister, “the war will be long and difficult, but we have no other way.” Netanyahu also said that those who accuse Israel of war crimes are hypocrites.
Israel is urging Gazans to move south for their own safety, Al-Jazeera reported.
“This is an urgent message for the people of Gaza,” we read in a post by the Israel Defense Forces on X (formerly Twitter). The entry is accompanied by a recording of the statement of Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari. “For your immediate safety, we call on all residents of northern Gaza and Gaza City to temporarily relocate to the south,” Hagari said.
Chaos in the Gaza Strip
According to correspondents, there is panic, fear and chaos in Gaza after Israel intensified its airstrikes in the heaviest bombing so far of the war.
Communication to and from the Gaza Strip was cut off after the Israeli army expanded its land operation on Friday, and fuel shortages are making the situation worse, reports the BBC. It added that Palestinians, completely cut off from the outside world, continue to live with the horror of constant bombing, and the Israeli army on Saturday once again issued a call to evacuate the northern Gaza Strip ahead of the upcoming Israeli operation.
The Israeli army carried out massive airstrikes on Beit Lahia, Beit Hanoon and Zeitoun, and medical and civil defense staff say a communications blackout made escape difficult, Al Jazeera reported.
The entire communication system of the Gaza Strip was destroyed, which currently allows only speculation on the sheer extent of destruction caused by the bombardment of the northern part of the enclave and Gaza City.
Al-Jazeera publishes several photos from the Gaza Strip on its website, showing people carrying bags of bread against the ruins of the city, clouds of smoke rising over one of the districts, and vehicles shot at and bombed. In one of the photos, a man is carrying the body of a child, in another, people are searching through the rubble of a bombed building, and in the next, an injured Palestinian is waiting for dressing in front of a damaged hospital.
Saudi Arabia warns
Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Saturday condemning any ground operations by Israeli forces that could threaten the lives of Palestinian civilians.
“The Kingdom condemns the ground operations conducted by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip and warns against the danger of continuing these flagrant and unjustified violations of international law against our brother Palestinians,” the statement said.
Main photo source: EPA/ABIR SULTAN