“OUR crushing victory is more important than anything. Continue at full force so that our victory will be even more crushing." These were the final words written by heroic fighter Elkanah Wiesel. Elkanah, a reservist, was the father of four children. He fell heroically this week in the battles in Gaza, defending our country.
In this difficult week in which we lost heroic fighters, I reiterate before you, citizens of Israel, our commitment to fully implementing their testament and achieving all goals of the war: eliminating Hamas, returning all of our hostages and ensuring that Gaza never again constitutes a threat to Israel.
We will never forget the atrocities of October 7. We will never forget the massacre, the rapes, the murders and the mutilations. We will never forget the abductions. As of today, we have returned 110 of our hostages and we are committed to returning all of them home. We are dealing with this and we are doing so around the clock, including now.
We will never forgive what the Hamas monsters did to our daughters and our sons; therefore, there is no alternative to total victory. We must win — and we will win.
Citizens of Israel,
Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. There is no greater absurdity than what occurred yesterday, on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. There were those who came to The Hague to — falsely and outrageously — accuse us of genocide. On whose behalf did they come? On behalf of Hamas, the “new Nazis" who came to perpetrate genocide against us.
I hold here Hitler's book, Mein Kampf, in Arabic. Our fighters found this book in civilians' homes in the Gaza Strip. They found extensive antisemitic and Nazi literature there. This is what they educate their children on. Therefore, I insist that after we eliminate Hamas, what is called “the day after", in Gaza there will be no element that educates its children, not only for terrorism but also for the destruction of Israel, for the destruction of the entire Jewish people.
It was on behalf of “the new Nazis" that South Africa came to The Hague. I must tell you, the very willingness in The Hague to discuss this ridiculous claim, the very fact that it was not rejected outright, proves that many in the world have not learned anything from the Holocaust. But we have learned from it.
The main lesson of the Holocaust is that only we will defend ourselves by ourselves. Nobody will do this for us. Therefore, despite the great pain that is burning our hearts, we must continue to be strong and determined and we must return fire against those who seek our destruction.
The state of the Jews arose from the ashes of the Holocaust in order to promise a defensive shield for the Jewish people. Israel, like every sovereign country, has the basic right to defend itself. Nobody will take this right from us and nobody will stop us from implementing it.
We are fighting a war, the justice of which is unparalleled, with an army, the morality of which is unparalleled. This war was forced on us by an abhorrent enemy that openly declares its intention to murder all the Jews. On October 7, they murdered, beheaded, raped, and burned infants. If they could have, they would have massacred all of us. If we do not eliminate the Hamas terrorists, these “new Nazis", the next massacre is only a matter of time.
Therefore, we are determined to finish the task, to eliminate Hamas. And if it takes time, we will not relent in the mission. And those who, first and foremost, cling to the mission, are our heroic fighters and brave commanders.
This week our fighters completed the encirclement of Khan Yunis. They also eliminated hundreds of terrorists and destroyed terrorist infrastructure above and below ground. They are fighting with utmost bravery to ensure our lives in our land.
In order to ensure our future for generations, I have directed the defence minister and the finance minister to submit to the government an unprecedented plan, a huge plan, to strengthen our security industries for decades ahead. We will do so with immense investments in order to ensure our security independence and freedom of action.
The nation believes in our fighters, our spirit and our resilience. We are all proud of them and we all embrace them. But I want to say: unfortunately, there are those among us who choose to cast doubt on our determination and our ability to win.
The voices of the weak, among them all kinds of “former this or that", are trying to sow doubt, despondency and pessimism. Then I want to tell you, citizens of Israel — these voices are a small minority. They are mistaken and are misleading others.
We will win a total victory and our commitment to win a total victory is the first and most important guarantee of achieving it. We have no other choice apart from total victory.
We will win because we have a strong people and daring fighters who are sacrificing their lives to defend the eternity of Israel. Fighters like Elkanah Wiesel, whose testament I opened with, and with whose testament I will conclude: “I was already wounded in Operation Protective Edge," he writes. “I had the choice of staying behind, but not for a moment do I regret returning to be a fighter. On the contrary, this was the most important choice I ever made."
Happy is the people that has such sons and daughters; happy is the people that has such fighters and commanders.
Together we will fight, and with G-d's help, together we will win.
♦ VWB ♦
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