In a televised press conference, Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, declared that his country is entering what he referred to as "the second stage" of a prolonged and challenging conflict against the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
Netanyahu's announcement came as the conflict in the Gaza Strip continued to escalate.
"We have unanimously approved the widening of the ground invasion... Our objective is singular: to defeat the murderous enemy. We declared 'never again,' and we reiterate: 'never again, now,'" Netanyahu said during his address to the Israeli public.
Describing the ongoing military campaign as Israel's "second war of independence," Netanyahu continued, "In the initial weeks of the war, we launched massive airstrikes that dealt a severe blow to the enemy. We eliminated many terrorists. However, we are only at the beginning. The battle within the Gaza Strip will be difficult and long; this is our second war of independence."
The conflict between Israel and Hamas has been ongoing, with both sides exchanging rocket fire and airstrikes for weeks. The recent announcement by Prime Minister Netanyahu signals an escalation in the form of a ground invasion into the Gaza Strip.
The situation in the region remains highly tense, with international efforts to broker a ceasefire having so far yielded limited results. Concerns over the impact of the conflict on civilians, as well as the potential for further escalation, continue to grow.
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