Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks [translated from Hebrew] at the start of the Government meeting, today (Sunday, 10 December 2023):
"At the start of the meeting, I would like to send condolences to our colleague Gadi Eisenkot and his family, which lost their son Gal and the nephew Maor. How great is the sorrow, how great is the pain.
We are in the midst of Chanukah, and we remember that 2,200 years ago, three of the five Maccabees fell in battle, but the goal of achieving the independence of Israel and ensuring the thread of life for the Jewish people was achieved. We will also continue until we achieve our goals. I told Gadi that we while mourn and cry with him, we are still committed that all of the fallen, all of our heroes will have not fallen in vain.
The war is continuing, intensively, in both northern and southern Gaza, in order to achieve all of our goals: Eliminating Hamas, returning all of our hostages and ensuring that Gaza will never go back to being a threat to Israel.
An additional shipment of important ammunition for continuing the war will arrive today; in effect, it is already here. I thank President Biden, who I spoke with on Friday about both the US taking the correct and just stand in the UN Security Council and – of course – the material assistance that the US is providing to the IDF.
In the last two days, I have spoken with both Chancellor Scholz and French President Macron, and with additional leaders as well. I told them that it is impossible to support the elimination of Hamas on the one hand, while on the other pressing us to end the war, which would prevent the elimination of Hamas. I think that in this fight, justice is on our side and unity as well. When we are united as a people and a state, no force can prevent us from doing the right thing.
At the same time, we are building and investing in our communities. In the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, at the start of the war we established the 'Tekuma Authority'. We provided a massive budget to rebuild the communities and to ensure that nobody will be left behind. We are engaged not just in rebuilding the cities, the rural communities and the local and regional councils, but that they will flourish and prosper for generations and surpass what was. To this end, we founded a new community in the Sdot Negev Regional Council, 'Ofir', named after the late Ofir Leibstein. We will found new communities in every local council that wants to. Several have already made requests, and this is what we will do.
We are committed to investing in education, employment, social services, assistance for evacuees, agriculture, businesses and every field. I would like to commend all those who are engaged in this important work, which we will submit to the Government today. The wheat is being sown in the kibbutzim in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip – and it will grow.
An additional item that I would like to comment on is the antisemitism in the US. There is a major wave of antisemitism there, from both the left and the right. It has flared up on campuses and universities there, and is breaking forth. I think that it had deep roots that are now finding expression. The important thing that is now happening is that friends and leaders in the Jewish community are finally standing up. They are standing up against this antisemitism. This is the only way to fight it: With pride and honor, not with bowed heads, but to take the fight back to them. On behalf of all of you, I commend them."