Once the operation is completed, “there will be no more Hamas,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said.
Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza could take up to three months but will result in the final destruction of Hamas, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told members of the country’s air force on Sunday.
“This must be the last maneuver (on the ground) in Gaza, for the simple reason that afterwards there will be no more Hamas. » Gallant said at air force headquarters in Tel Aviv in remarks carried by several Israeli media outlets. “It will take a month, two months, three, but in the end there will be no Hamas.”
Days after Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7, the Israeli army mobilized some 360,000 reservists and began developing plans to invade Gaza. Although Gallant has repeatedly stated since then that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were ready to launch such an operation, the final invasion order has not yet been given.
Israeli military sources initially told The Times that cloudy weather was hampering planning for the operation, while other media outlets cited the risk of massive Israeli casualties or intervention by Hezbollah militants. On Friday, Bloomberg reported that the United States and some of its European allies were pressuring Israel to postpone the operation until the release of other hostages could be negotiated.
Meanwhile, Israeli military planes have been bombing Gaza for more than two weeks. Speaking to reporters on Saturday, IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the air campaign would be intensified before a ground operation. Gallant made a similar statement on Sunday, saying that “Before the enemy faces armor and infantry forces, he will face the bombs of the Air Force.”
Israel’s bombing campaign has caused widespread destruction in Gaza and left nearly 4,700 people dead and more than 14,000 injured in the enclave, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Despite insisting that residents of Gaza City would be safe if they evacuated to the south of the Strip, Israeli military planes also hit targets there, including a refugee camp and residential buildings in the city of Khan Younnis.
Speaking to Israeli lawmakers on Friday, Gallant said Israel “remove all responsibility for life” in Gaza once its military operation is completed.
You can share this story on social media: