Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night held a press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) and Minister Benny Gantz (National Unity).
"The soldiers in Gaza are continuing a 3,000-year-old chain," Netanyahu said.
"We have always said, 'Never again,'" he added, stressing that, "'Never again' is now."
He emphasized that Gaza civilians should evacuate to open area in southern Gaza.
"This is a war of humanity against barbarians," he said, calling the war against Hamas "a second War of Independence."
He explained, "Many in the world understand very well that Israel is fighting not only its own war but the war of humanity as a whole, the war of humanity against barbarism."
Netanyahu said that leaders of several countries have visited Israel since the war started and expressed support for Israel.
"They did not just express support for us - they said that they are hoping we will win."
"I have no doubt how this war will end: This war will end with our victory." He stressed that the war is "the task of our lives - and also the task of my life."
"Together we will fight - and together we will win," he concluded.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said, "There is no moment – when I weigh the approval of operational plans and the activities conducted by our troops, that I don’t take into consideration this issue" and think of the bereaved families and hostages at every step.
"Our firepower shook Gaza – it was different from anything that Hamas [terrorist organization] has every faced, since the day of its establishment, to this day. Our forces are maneuvering in the relevant locations, striking Hamas above and underground – from the air, land and sea.
"Hamas is taking blows like never before," he stressed, noting that, "We have no interest in expanding the war, but we are prepared, the Air Force invests only a small part of its strength in fighting in Gaza, and it is prepared for any additional mission."
Israel is "doing everything possible, to bring the hostages back to our homeland," he said. "It is a very complex issue, and we are faced with a reality that we have never experienced before. We will do everything in our power – it is a critical issue. We are committed to this."
Gallant noted that, "We are dealing with a brutal, murderous organization that murdered children, raped women, and livestreamed the murder of innocents to their families. Let’s not deceive ourselves – our enemies [Hamas] do not seek humanitarian [relief]. They seek to remove the pressure of war."
"The more the military pressure increases, the more we increase firepower and the more we hit Hamas, the closer we will be to a situation in which they will agree to reach solutions that will enable us to reach your loved ones, our friends, and our loved ones.
"This will not be a short war," he warned. "It is a long war that will require us to be strong, as individuals, as a society, as leaders. Above all, our security forces will be strong. This is a war on our home. This is a war we didn’t choose. It’s either us or them."
Benny Gantz said, "Our force depends on our strength and our unity."
"We are waging this war with determination and responsibility," he said. "We need to remember that opposing us is an organization which lacks humanity, which uses infants and women as a human shield in order to save itself. We will ensure, sooner or later, that everyone pays the price. Murderers and child abducters are walking corpses."
"It is important that the world know: In this war, there is no diplomatic hourglass... We will listen to our friends, but we will do what is right for us."
Following the statements, listeners were invited to ask questions, which were then answered.
Answering these questions, Netanyahu told reporters: "Iran backs ninety percent of the Hamas war machine. Without Iran, there is no Hamas, nor any Hezbollah. I cannot say if they were involved in the specific details of this campaign."
"We will do everything in our power both to destroy Hamas and to rescue the hostages. These are the two goals I have set for the security forces, and I am confident we will achieve both of them," he said.
However, at the same time, Netanyahu stressed, "Talking about our efforts to help the hostages will not help execute our plans to help them. We cannot detail our operations or intelligence. It is not a side point for us - we simply cannot speak about the details of what we are doing, or will do."
When asked about the judicial reform, he responded, "The judicial reform is not on the agenda" right now. He also said, "After the war, everyone, including myself, will need to answer for this horrific failure."
''I stand behind my statements that the responsibility lies on the government,'' he stressed, when asked if he would take "ultimate responsibility, as the ultimate authority."
"These descriptions of the days before the war are incorrect. I led three campaigns against Hamas, which reduced its operational capacity. In retrospect, it was not enough, and now we are determined to finish the job."
He also said that Israelis are now united: "Our enemies have made a mistake. As I always said, when we were tested, we joined all together, all three hundred sixty degrees of Israeli society. We have removed all the differences between us. We now spend nearly twenty-four hours a day together, from every community."
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told reporters that reports of strained relations between himself and Prime Minister Netanyahu are incorrect: "There is no difference of opinion in the Cabinet, nor between any of the Ministers. Anything else is gossip and I will not address it."