update deskIsrael at War

IDF chief: Fight against Hamas will last all of 2024

The coming year will be "challenging" for the Jewish state, said Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzl Halevi.

IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi meets with commanders in the Gaza Strip on Dec. 31, 2023. Credit: IDF.
IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi meets with commanders in the Gaza Strip on Dec. 31, 2023. Credit: IDF.

The coming year will be “challenging” for the Jewish state, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzl Halevi said Sunday, suggesting that the war against Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad will last all of 2024.

“We will be at war in Gaza, I don’t know if all year—we will be fighting in Gaza all year, that’s for sure,” Halevi said following a situational assessment with officers and commanders of the IDF’s Judea and Samaria Division.

The Defense Ministry expects to recognize at least 12,500 IDF soldiers as wounded veterans in the wake of the Hamas-initiated war, Ynet reported over the weekend, citing a study carried out by a consultancy firm.

According to the report, the Defense Ministry’s Rehabilitation Department has a total of 60,000 disabled veterans currently registered. In the coming year, an additional 20,000 requests are to be expected, Ynet said.

Since Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre in southwestern Israel, more than 2,000 wounded IDF soldiers have already received treatment from the Rehabilitation Department, local media reported last month.

Approximately 91% of the soldiers are defined as lightly injured, 6% as moderately and 3% as severely, local media reported, citing data given by Limor Luria, head of the Rehabilitation Department.

On Sunday night, the IDF announced that troops operating in Gaza City’s Shejaiya district discovered additional proof of Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s participation in the Oct. 7 massacre alongside Hamas terrorists.

In the northern part of Shejaiya, soldiers of the IDF’s Yiftah Brigade uncovered and destroyed several tunnel shafts near the house of Ahmed Samara, the terrorist in charge of PIJ’s tunnel project in northern Gaza.

During the military operation, soldiers found training plans and blueprints for the Oct. 7 attacks, numerous weapons and a book written by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, the IDF said.

Palestinian terrorists opened fire and set off an explosive inside the shaft in an attempt to harm the IDF forces and prevent the tunnel’s destruction, the army added, noting that soldiers were able to kill the terrorists and retreat before the explosion took place.

Palestinian reports on Sunday also claimed the death in an Israeli airstrike of Ali Salem Abu Ajwa, the grandson of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated by Israel during the Second Intifada.

Meanwhile, in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Israeli President Isaac Herzog revealed a document discovered by the IDF in Gaza detailing summer camps for Gazan children hosted by the terror group.

The plans are “a directive by the commanders of Hamas as to how to manage summer camps for children in order to disseminate the values of jihad,” Herzog told the channel.

“It says it clearly to disseminate the values of jihad, and the values of the resistance—meaning terror—and how to make it a militarized society,” the president added.

While summer camps are usually focused on enabling “youngsters, kids and adolescents to become citizens of the free world and with liberty, with happiness with joy, with sports—here their entire aim is to make them terrorists,” he said.

Israeli forces have confiscated approximately 70 million files from Gaza, containing intelligence information on senior Hamas officials in the Strip and abroad, IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari revealed in a press briefing on Saturday night.

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