The Knesset this evening (Thursday) approved the formation of the new emergency unity government with the National Unity Party under MK Benny Gantz. 66 MKs voted in favor of the new government, while four voted against it.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the MKs before the vote.
"This really is a war for our home. And it must end with one thing, a complete victory. And the crushing and elimination of Hamas. Hamas is the same as ISIS," Netanyahu stated.
"It's just the simple truth. Hamas is ISIS. And the world, which was shocked by ISIS and by Al Qaeda after September 11, created an international coalition to eliminate this scourge. No one said, 'Let's go meet with representatives of ISIS or Al Qaeda.' No one said, 'Let's give them a presence in our country'. That's why I said today: There will be no discussions of that sort. We don't meet with them. And if there are countries that maintain the presence [of Hamas terrorists or leaders], they must be expelled. Throw them out," he said.
He noted the fighting spirit and unity Israelis have displayed after the monstrous terrorist attack by Hamas "consolidated us into an iron fist - and this is the fist that will smash Hamas to pieces." According to him, "the unity of the people is a force multiplier and the emergency government that we are establishing today out of national responsibility conveys a message of tremendous power, both externally and internally."
He stated that “The Shabbat of 10-7 was the most horrible day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust.”
New Hope chairman MK Gideon Sa'ar, one of the leaders of the National Unity faction, said: "We came forward on the first day to establish an emergency government. From the first moments of the attack, we called for an emergency government. We threw aside the divisions within our people at the most difficult moment for Israel since the war of independence. The Prime Minister touched on this and I would like to clarify: What is the difference between the monsters that raided the kibbutzim of the Gaza periphery, Sderot and Ofakim, and the Nazis? There is only one difference: the ability. If they had the ability - this is the fate they would assign to every Jew. Their "vision" is the destruction of Israel. Is there anyone who still doesn't understand this? Another thing I said from the first day: and from the first day I said: this is Iran's war against Israel. The sudden eruption of Hamas was only the first move in this campaign."
In a jab at Opposition Yair Lapid, who has refused to join the emergency government, Sa'ar said: “Yes, it’s easier to support from the outside. You’re not carrying the heavy burden.”