Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and National Unity Chairman Benny Gantz gave statements on Wednesday evening after the establishment of a national emergency government that will lead the war against Hamas.
Netanyahu began by saying, "The people of Israel are united and today their leadership is also united, we put aside all other considerations because the fate of our country hangs in the balance."
In tears, he described the atrocities committed by Hamas. "We saw the beasts, the barbarians with whom we are fighting. We saw children bound and shot in the head, men and women who were burned alive, young women who were raped and butchered, fighters whose heads were cut off, in one place they put people together in and placed spare tires around them so that there would be flammable material and burned them alive."
"We are fighting with all our might on all fronts, we have gone on the attack. Hamas is ISIS and we will crush and eliminate it just as the world crushed and eliminated ISIS," Netanyahu added.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said, "This was a murderous attack, more serious than any other terrorist attack that has ever occurred in the world. Thousands of terrorists attacked with the goal of looting, killing and slaughtering. I have served the State of Israel as a soldier and fighter for 47 years, I have seen many difficult events, I have never seen such an event. The Prime Minister described it - children who were tied to one another and murdered, people who were burned, barbaric acts that the Jewish people had not experienced since 1945."
"These things were only stopped by one thing, the bravery of the fighters. I passed through the area for the last three days, I was in the towns, in the kibbutzim, I met the fighters who came out of the battles, I heard their stories, I heard about the fighters who charged first, fell, their comrades followed them and continued until they killed the terrorists," he added.
"This will not continue, there will be no situation in which Israeli children are murdered and we will let it slide. And I say - we will wipe this thing called Hamas ISIS Gaza off the face of the earth," he concluded.
National Unity Party chairman Benny Gantz stated that "Israel is in one of its most difficult hours, these are fateful days, its friends, its families were murdered and kidnapped by a cruel enemy, an enemy that needs to be exterminated by all means and without any qualms. Our standing here, shoulder to shoulder, is a clear message to our enemy, and more importantly a message to all the citizens of Israel, we are all together, we are all mobilizing, we are all mobilized."
"I am calling on all citizens at home who are afraid, and are scared, who have lost their sense of security and I tell you that I understand the fear. I understand the pain. And I have no words to console. But make no mistake, the State of Israel is the strongest country in the region. It has the most powerful army and the best people. This power is being felt in Gaza and, if necessary, in Lebanon they will feel it and the whole world will see it. Our enemy's share will be blood, fire and smoke," he added.
He also stressed, "This is not the time for difficult questions, but for overwhelming answers on the battlefield. The government and the security forces have broad and important support from the opposition parties as well, some of whom I hope will join us in the coming days."