Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, recently addressed for the first time the surprise attack by Hamas and the intense war in the south.
In a lengthy statement published, Minister Ben-Gvir said: "Heroic citizens of Israel. We are going through difficult, painful, and sad days. The State of Israel is experiencing one of the most challenging events in its history, but as throughout our entire history – with God's help, Israel will rise from this difficulty, fight together, and triumph. At this moment, I send condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones, who were brutally and cold-bloodedly murdered by despicable terrorists. All of Israel embraces you in this difficult hour.
"I send special condolences to the families of the police officers, Border Police, Counter-Terrorism Unit, IDF soldiers, and medical personnel who were killed while engaging in critical activities, defending the homeland, and saving lives, with immense personal dedication. It is no secret that our police officers, fighters, and Border Police personnel were among the first to arrive at the scenes of violence, sacrificing themselves for the sake of the people of Israel.
"Since the early hours of yesterday morning, I, along with my office and the various government agencies, including the police, Shin Bet, and security forces, have been focusing on one thing and one thing only – ensuring the internal security of the State of Israel: thwarting the terrorists, through specialized police units, assessing and managing numerous disturbances in parallel, securing prisons, maintaining order, preventing acts of violence within the security branches, and the involvement of firefighters and rescue teams in extinguishing fires and numerous rescue operations.
"Since the outbreak of the war, I have conducted several situation assessment discussions with the Commissioner and the senior command staff of the police, the Prison Service representative, and the Fire and Rescue Commissioner, with the aim of saving lives and preparing for the coming days. Security forces in the field are continuously working to locate the missing. Police's 105 hotline and the Home Front Command are assisting in locating the missing, and I urge the public to contact the hotline in case of losing contact with loved ones.
"By virtue of my position as a member of the political and security cabinet, I was a participant last night in long discussions in the cabinet and in the government. I presented in the room my unequivocal position for a persistent and uncompromising war for the total destruction of Hamas. This is the only solution for victory over the murderous, cruel and bloodthirsty organization that desires the destruction of the Jewish state.
"Now is the time for unity. The entire Israeli people are strengthening the security forces in their war against the enemy. This is not the time for questions, investigations, and inquiries. There will still be time for all this, now is the time for war and victory."