update deskIsrael at War

Netanyahu stresses unity to counter ‘existential threats’

"This holiday is different, because 'they rose up against us to destroy us.' This is a very tangible thing," said the premier ahead of Passover.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, Dec. 10, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, Dec. 10, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for unity amid ongoing tensions with Iran, during a visit to the headquarters of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency on Thursday.

“This holiday is different, because ‘they rose up against us to destroy us.’ This is a very tangible thing, from the axis of evil of Iran and its proxies, including Hamas,” Netanyahu told the organization’s department heads in reference to Passover, which starts Monday at sundown.

“And on the other hand, ‘from bondage to redemption.’ This is very tangible when we still have captives being held there in the basements of the monsters in Gaza,” he continued.

Netanyahu stressed that his government is committed to defeating Iran-backed terror groups in Gaza, releasing the remaining 133 hostages held there and repelling the broader threat posed by the Islamic Republic.

Hours after the premier’s statements, Israel launched an attack targeting a military facility close to the Iranian city of Isfahan.

Overnight Saturday, Iran launched more than 300 missiles and drones at Israel. The IDF said it and its military allies intercepted some 99% of the projectiles; none of the 170 drones entered Israel’s airspace.

After Jerusalem vowed to retaliate to the unprecedented direct attack, Tehran threatened to reconsider its official nuclear doctrine, with the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps warning Israel on Thursday that “our hands are on the trigger.”

According to Netanyahu, “internal division must disappear now because we are under an existential threat, and when facing an existential threat, you unite forces and do not divide them.”

“If we do not have the ability to defend ourselves against those who seek to kill us, we have nothing, and this is what we must unite around now with all our might on this Passover holiday and what will come after it,” the premier added.

Netanyahu also visited the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) offices, where he sat down with ISA director Ronen Bar. As part of the meeting, Netanyahu received a comprehensive review of the agency’s intensive counterterrorism activity over the past months.

Netanyahu thanked the Mossad and Shin Bet for their part in protecting the state’s security, in particular for the extensive security and intelligence work they have done since the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre.

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