Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met separately on Saturday evening in Tel Aviv with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides as Israel’s war against Hamas entered its third week.
“We always say there’s one thing better than standing with Israel. It’s standing in Israel,” Netanyahu told Meloni at the start of their meeting at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv.
“This is our darkest hour. We have to defeat this barbarism. This is a battle between the forces of civilization and … monstrous barbarians who murdered, mutilated, raped, beheaded, burned innocent people, babies, grandmothers,” he continued.
“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,” added Netanyahu.
Meloni said that 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,” said Meloni.
“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,” she added.
Later in the evening, Netanyahu stressed to Christodoulides that Hamas’s Oct. 7 invasion of southern Israel was “savagery that is the worst that we’ve seen against Jewish people since the Holocaust.”
“They murdered children in front of their parents and parents in front of their children, burned people alive, decapitated people, raped and murdered women. Babies who were hiding in the attic, they killed them,” said Netanyahu.
“The world united to fight the Nazis. The civilized world united to fight ISIS. And now, the civilized world should stand with us as we defeat ISIS. This is our goal,” added the Israeli premier.
French President Emmanuel Macron is set to travel to Israel later this week, the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem announced on Sunday. Macron is scheduled to touch down at Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday.