Tel Aviv: Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel is in the midst of war with the goal of destroying the military and governing capabilities of Hamas. He noted that Israel is doing this "systematically."

At the start of the Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said, "We are in the midst of the war. We have set the clear goal of destroying Hamas's military and governing capabilities. We are doing this systematically," according to the statement posted by Israel Prime Minister's Office on X.

Netanyahu said that Israel Defence Forces has expanded its ground incursion in the Gaza Strip. He said, "The first blocking stage is over. The 2nd stage, pounding them from the air is continuing all the time. The 3rd stage - the IDF has expanded its ground incursion inside the Gaza Strip. It is doing so in measured, very powerful, steps making methodical, step-by-step progress."

He stated that Israel is working to have active deterrence on the northern front. He further said, "I reiterate to Nasrallah: You will be making the mistake of your lives if you decide to fully intervene in the campaign. You will receive a blow that you cannot even imagine."

Netanyahu said that Israel is continuing the efforts to free the hostages and stressed that this campaign will take time. He noted that there will be "losses, difficulties and surprises." However, Hamas in the end "will be crushed."

According to Israel's Prime Minister's Office statement on X, Netanyahu said, "We are continuing the efforts to free the hostages, both with the manoeuvre, which is even creating possibilities of securing release that we will not miss. This campaign will take time."

"There will be pitfalls. There will be difficulties. There will be losses. There will also be surprises, but in the end, I promise you one thing: Hamas will be crushed. Hamas will be defeated; there will be a different Gaza," he added.

He stressed that Israel for this needs patience and time and ensuring diplomatic support. Netanyahu said that he is in daily contact with US President Joe Biden and his team is talking with their counterparts constantly."

He said, "We have made it clear that we are fighting not only our war, but their war as well; because if Hamas is not defeated, then the axis of evil will win. And if the axis of evil wins, the free world will lose." He added, "This effort is also a humanitarian effort. This is true in and of itself, and because it assists our forces. We are trying to move the population to the southern Gaza Strip."

Netanyahu said that Israel has made a safe zone and it is there Israel wants to direct the humanitarian assistance. He said that Israel is doing this in coordination with the US and stressed that the process will take time.

At the start of the cabinet meeting, he said that Israel had formed a national emergency government for the war. He noted, "The nation is more united now than it has ever been. There is a fighting spirit among the soldiers; I visit them." He spoke about meeting Israel Police Unit 33 - the Gidonim.

Netanyahu said, "This morning, I was with the Gidonim. Before that, I have been with all of the forces. One simply needs to see them imbued with fire because they understand that we are fighting for our existence, and it is this unity that will be decisive."

Israel Air Forces said that IDF forces have been continuing their ground operations in the Gaza Strip for the past few hours.

Taking to X, Israel Air Forces said, "IDF forces have been continuing their ground operations in the Gaza Strip for the past few hours. IDF fighters with the help of combat helicopters and remote manned aircraft, directed by the forces, eliminated terrorist squads that tried to attack the forces."

Meanwhile, The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) on Monday said that a soldier captured by the Hamas terror group has been rescued during ground operations and she is now with her family. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has congratulated the IDF and Shin Bet for this "important achievement" and stressed that the release of the soldier showcases their commitment to the release of all the abductees.

According to IDF, Pvt Ori Megidish was abducted by Hamas on October 7. Taking to X, IDF stated, "She is home. PVT Megidish was abducted by Hamas on October 7. Tonight, she was released during ground operations. Ori is now home with her family."

Netanyahu called terrorists of Hamas "monsters" and stated that Israel would continue to hunt them down. He hailed the Shin Bet security agency and IDF for rescuing the soldier captured by Hamas.

Taking to X, Netanyahu said, "Last night our forces freed the female soldier Pvt Uri Magidish from Hamas captivity. Ori was kidnapped on the black morning of October 7. Welcome home, Uri. I congratulate the Shin Bet and the IDF for this important and exciting achievement, an achievement that expresses our commitment to the release of all the abductees."

"The entire nation of Israel salutes the Shin Bet and salutes the IDF. And to the terrorists of Hamas and ISIS, I say - you are monsters. We will continue to pursue you, we will continue to hunt you down. We will cripple you until you fall at our feet," he added.