As the world watches and waits for Israel to fully launch its justified military response to the egregious atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists against predominately civilian Israelis on Oct. 7, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ramped up his rhetoric about an impending ground invasion of Gaza.
In a nationally televised speech on Wednesday, Netanyahu referred to members of Hamas as "dead men walking" and insisted that a ground invasion was coming soon while he noted that Israeli actions thus far had already "eliminated thousands of terrorists," according to the Washington Examiner.
Israel's leader declined to provide any specifics on the time and manner of the impending invasion of Gaza, for obvious reasons, but stressed that plans for the imminent operation had been "unanimously determined" by his Cabinet and the general staff of the Israel Defense Force.
According to The Times of Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu said during his Wednesday speech that "Israel is in the midst of a fight for our existence," and pointed to two primary aims of that fight -- "to eliminate Hamas by destroying its military and governance capabilities, and to do everything possible to get our hostages back."
"All Hamas members are dead men walking -- above and below ground, inside and outside Gaza," he continued and referenced other top leaders and advisers who "are working around the clock in order to achieve the war aims until victory, and doing so without political considerations."
Netanyahu also said that the thousands of Hamas members who'd already been killed on the day of the terror attack and in airstrikes or limited incursions into Gaza was "only the beginning" of the Israeli response.
As for the anticipated IDF ground invasion of Gaza, Netanyahu said, "We are preparing for a ground incursion. I won’t specify when, how, how many. I also won’t detail the range of considerations, most of which the public is not aware of. And that’s the way it is supposed to be. This is the way, so that we protect our soldiers’ lives."
He noted that "The timing of the operation was determined unanimously by the war cabinet and the chief of staff," and insisted that, once the invasion began, "We will extract the full price from those murderers, those perpetrators of atrocities" against mostly civilian Israeli men, women, and children.
The prime minister further reiterated his call for Palestinian civilians in Gaza to evacuate toward southern Gaza, said there would be special days of mourning in the future to honor those killed by Hamas, and promised to help rebuild the Israeli communities that had been brutalized and devastated by the terrorists.
According to the Examiner, Netanyahu also appeared to indicate that there would be time later to assign blame and accountability for missed warning signs of the coordinated wave of Hamas attacks on Oct. 7 and said, "Everyone will have to give answers on the debacle -- including myself -- after the war."
It had been widely expected that Israel would waste little time in mounting an invasion of Gaza to exact vengeance in the immediate wake of the Hamas attacks, but now more than two weeks later, that anticipated IDF operation has yet to fully materialize, save for the incessant airstrikes on Hamas leadership and known positions along with the limited incursions that are likely being used to gather intelligence on Hamas defenses and the locations of more than 200 hostages.
According to the Wall Street Journal, part of the reason for the delayed ground invasion is to allow more time for the U.S. military to deploy advanced anti-missile batteries and other air-defense systems in strategic locations across the Middle East region, as well as to allow for civilian evacuation, the provision of humanitarian aid to fleeing Palestinians, and for diplomatic efforts to secure the release of hostages -- at least four of whom have been let go thus far.
Concerning the hostage release efforts, Israel has notably received substantial assistance from a seemingly unlikely ally, Qatar -- which, it should be pointed out, has also provided a safe haven for Hamas leaders for years.
The head of Israel's National Security Council, Tzachi Hanegbi, said Wednesday on social media, "I’m pleased to say that Qatar is becoming an essential party and stakeholder in the facilitation of humanitarian solutions. Qatar’s diplomatic efforts are crucial at this time."