‘Will demolish Hamas’: Netanyahu as he convenes Israel’s expanded emergency cabinet meet

The three-hour evacuation window for Gazans ends

Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is at war Israeli launches strikes in Gaza as PM Benjamin Netanyahu says the country is at war | Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened Israel's expanded emergency cabinet meet on Sunday in Tel Aviv. Netanyahu said that the national unity on display sent a message at home and abroad as the country gears up to "demolish Hamas" in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the three-hour window for citizens of Gaza to evacuate from north of the city ended. The evacuation time allotted was from 10 am to 1 pm.

While speaking at the cabinet meet, Netanyahu said that Israel “will break Hamas apart”.

“Israeli military forces know entire country is behind them and understand this is a fateful hour...Hamas thought we would fall apart (but) it is we who will break Hamas apart,” said Netanyahu, reported Reuters.

The Israeli expanded emergency government is working around the clock, with a united front, he added. “Israeli unity relays a clear message to the nation, the enemy and the world,” said Netanyahu.

Reportedly, alarms were sounded in Tel Aviv signalling possible incoming rockets.

Blinken to return to Israel

Meanwhile, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Israel again on Monday for further consultations with Israeli leaders after his Middle-East diplomacy talks with countries.

Blinken is in Cairo on Sunday for talks with Egypt's president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. It is the last of Blinken's Middle-East leaders meet.

Before visiting Egypt, Blinken met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh. Blinken had met leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. He also spoke to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to seek Beijing's support in discouraging others from getting involved.

As a precaution, US military has also positioned its aircraft carrier in the Eastern Mediterranean. The US Navy's presence is to ensure that others including Iran, Syria and Lebanon's Hezbollah does not enter the conflict.

As Israel prepares for ground assault, Arab leaders stressed that the current situation cannot be resolved without an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, which gives Palestinians an independent state.

In the Blinken-Saudi Arabia meet, the focus of the latter was on safety of Palestinian civilians. Prince Mohammed made it clear that there is a need to stop the current escalation of the situation and respect international humanitarian law.

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