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Israeli PM Netanyahu says Gaza war entered second stage with ground operation

France's Macron visits Jerusalem amid Israel-Palestinian conflict

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday the ground operation launched by Israeli troops in Gaza was the second stage in a war against the Islamist group Hamas that would be long and difficult.

Speaking at a news conference, he said every effort would be made to rescue the more than 200 hostages held by Hamas.

(Reporting by Maayan Lubell and James Mackenzie; editing by David Evans)