Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in Tel Aviv.

At the start of the expanded meeting which followed a private meeting, Netanyahu said, "Thank you for coming here and for standing with Israel. We always say there's one thing better than standing with Israel. It's standing in Israel. We welcome you for coming here. This is our darkest hour."

"We have to defeat this barbarism," Netanyahu emphasized. "This is a battle between the forces of civilization and really, monstrous barbarians who murdered, mutilated, raped, beheaded, burned innocent people, babies, grandmothers."

"This is a test, a test of civilization and we will win. And we expect all the countries that lined up to fight ISIS, to line up and fight Hamas, because Hamas is the new ISIS."

Meloni responded, "Prime Minister, I'm happy to be here. I felt it was very important to come personally to bring the solidarity of the Italian government and the Italian people, and to tell you that we saw images that were incredible about what happened two weeks ago. That showed something more than simply, well, a war. They showed somebody who wants to cancel Jewish people from this region. And it is up to antisemitism. That is something we have to fight yesterday and today."

"We defend the right of Israel existing, of defending itself, security for its people. And we absolutely understand that terrorism has to be fought. We believe and we think that you are able to do that in the best way, for we are different from those terrorists."

Also attending the meeting were Israel's Strategic Affairs Minister, the Director of the National Security Council, the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff, the Prime Minister's Military Secretary, and the Prime Minister's Diplomatic Adviser. Among the Italian officials joining the meeting were the Italian Ambassador to Israel, the Diplomatic Adviser, and the Military Adviser.