Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has struck a power-sharing deal with his political rival, centrist Benny Gantz, to form an emergency unity government that will oversee Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.
Netanyahu promised to “crush and eliminate” the militant group in a speech Wednesday evening, responding to Hamas’s deadly assault on Israel last weekend that claimed the lives of at least 1,300 people in Israel.
The “war cabinet” will be pivotal in what comes next. At least 1,354 people in Gaza have been killed, health authorities there said, as Israel pummels the enclave with airstrikes. Israeli troops are massing troops ahead of a potential ground assault in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas is holding more than 100 hostages it took from inside Israel — a group officials say includes Americans.
“Our standing here, shoulder to shoulder, is a clear message to our enemies, and more importantly, a message to all citizens of Israel — we are all together, we are all mobilizing,” Gantz said. Here’s what to know.