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Israel-Hamas war: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says ‘second stage of the war’ has begun

SDEROT, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 28: Smoke rises from an explosion in Gaza on October 28, 2023 seen from Sderot, Israel. In the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas that left 1,400 dead and 200 kidnapped, Israel launched a sustained bombardment of the Gaza Strip and threatened a ground invasion to vanquish the militant group that governs the Palestinian territory. But the fate of the hostages, Israelis and foreign nationals who are being held by Hamas in Gaza, as well as international pressure over the humanitarian situation in Gaza, have complicated Israel's military response to the attacks. A timeline for a proposed ground invasion remains unclear. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that the military has opened a “second stage” in the war with Hamas, according to The Associated Press.

Ground forces were sent into Gaza which has led to expanded attacks on the ground, air and sea. Netanyahu said during a news conference, according to the AP, that it will clear ahead of a broad ground invasion makes its way into the area.

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Israeli military forces will “gradually (be) increasing its ground activity in the Gaza Strip and the scale of its forces,” a military spokesman, Daniel Hagari, told reporters on Saturday night, according to The New York Times.

“It will take time, and we will adapt ourselves to developing events and carry out the war aims,” he said.

Netanyahu called the war “our second war of independence,” according to the Times. He also mentioned that he expected this war to be “long and difficult.”

“Our heroic fighters have one goal: To destroy this enemy and to make sure the existence of our country. Never again. ‘Never again,’ is now,” Netanyahu said, according to CNN.

Netanyahu also confirmed that he spoke with the families of hostages who are being held by Hamas and would like to get the hostages returned to their loved ones, CNN reported.

“There was a horrible failure and it will be fully checked. I promise you, no stone will be left unturned. For now, my supreme mission is to save the country and lead our soldiers to total victory,” Netanyahu said after he was asked about the security failures on Oct. 7, according to the Times.

The Israel Defense Forces have reissued an “urgent message for residents of Gaza” trying to get civilians to move from the northern part of Gaza to the south, according to The Guardian.

Most of the communications into Gaza was knocked out and cut off about 2.3 million people from the world, according to the AP.