Netanyahu convenes emergency Israeli cabinet, vows to ‘demolish Hamas’

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened Israel’s expanded emergency cabinet for the first time on Sunday, saying the national unity on display sent a message at home and abroad as the country gears up to “demolish Hamas” in Gaza.

The meeting, held in military headquarters in Tel Aviv, began with ministers standing for a moment’s silence in memory of the 1,300 Israelis killed in Hamas’ shock Oct. 7 onslaught, a video released by Netanyahu’s office showed.

Welcoming former opposition lawmaker Benny Gantz, who joined the government along with several members of his party last week, Netanyahu said all ministers were “working around the clock, with a united front”.

“Hamas thought we would be demolished. It is we who will demolish Hamas,” Netanyahu said, adding that the show of unity “sends a clear message to the nation, the enemy and the world”.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Giles Elgood)