Netanyahu tells troops 'the next stage is coming' as he visits massacre sites

The prime minister made his first visit to the southern kibbutzim attacked by Hamas


Benjamin Netanyahu has made his first visit to the kibbutzim affected by last week's Hamas massacres, addressing a group of troops close to the Gaza border.

The prime minister, who is facing internal pressure from the Israeli public, met with soldiers in Kibbutzes Be'eri and Kfar Aza, and “walked between the ruins of the houses where these terrible massacres took place" according to a statement from his office.

In a short clip showing him addressing troops stationed near the Israeli border with Gaza, Netanyahu can be seen asking IDF soldiers if they are ready for the "next stage" and making small talk.

Telling the men that "the next stage is coming," Netanyahu appeared to be affirming the widely held belief that a ground invasion of the enclave is imminent.

Israel has amassed thousands of troops, tanks, and artillery units around the borders of Gaza and yesterday the IDF confirmed that ground forces had made limited incursions into the territory to retrieve the bodies and personal items of Israelis taken hostage by Hamas

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