update deskIsrael at War

Gallant sets main IDF priority in Gaza: Eliminate all Hamas capabilities

The Israeli defense minister outlined Jerusalem's goals for the war against Hamas, including "the creation of a new security reality in the region."

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets with members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Oct. 20, 2023. Photo by Elad Malka.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets with members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Oct. 20, 2023. Photo by Elad Malka.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met on Friday with members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to outline Jerusalem’s goals for the war against Hamas.

He detailed the objectives of the campaign, including the elimination of Hamas, and the destruction of both its military and governing capabilities; the complete removal of Israeli responsibility from the Gaza Strip; and the creation of a new security reality in the region.

“There will be three stages. We are now in the first stage—a military campaign that currently includes strikes, and will later include maneuvering, with the objective of neutralizing terrorists and destroying Hamas infrastructure,” said Gallant during the meeting.

“The second phase, an intermediate one, will require operations at a lower intensity, with the objective of eliminating ‘pockets of resistance’ (remaining terror hot spots),” continued the defense minister.

“The third phase will require the removal of Israel’s responsibility for life in the Gaza Strip and the establishment of a new security reality for the citizens of Israel,” he added.

On Thursday, Gallant told soldiers stationed along the border with Gaza that Israel would fight until it is victorious.

“I see the determination, the spirit of battle, and above all, the motivation to carry out everything needed to defeat Hamas, to eliminate terrorist infrastructure, and to execute the mission as needed,” said Gallant.

Israel has been attacking Hamas targets from the air since the Oct. 7 massacre that killed more than 1,400 people and wounded thousands, and has been amassing troops and equipment on the Gaza border in anticipation of a ground invasion.

“I’m responsible for the defense establishment. I have been responsible for it for the past two weeks, during the difficult events as well. I am responsible for bringing it to victory in battle,” Gallant said.

“We will be exact, sharp, deadly, and we will continue until we completely execute the mission,” he continued.

“You now see Gaza from afar; soon, you will see it from the inside,” added Gallant. “The order will come.”

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