update deskIsrael at War

IDF chief: ‘It is time for war, not a round or operation’

"In this war, the IDF will be strong and win," stated IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, while vowing to "maintain readiness in all arenas."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a security assessment at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Oct. 8, 2023. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a security assessment at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Oct. 8, 2023. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.

In his first public comments since Hamas launched its multi-pronged attack on Saturday morning, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi warned citizens that “long and complex days of fighting” await the Jewish state.

“We have civilians and members of the security forces, some of whom are in the hands of the enemy,” Halevi told IDF officials during an assessment at the IDF Southern Command in Beersheva. “Therefore, it is time for war. Not a round, not an operation, time for war.”

“And in this war, the IDF will be strong and win,” said the military chief, while vowing to “maintain readiness in all arenas.”

“I know the last day was difficult; the price is a heavy price; I know there are many questions and a lot of frustration,” continued Halevi. “But we are now focusing forward on doing and solving the problem.”

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group killed at least 700 Israelis and wounded more than 2,000 on Saturday in a massive offensive launched from the Gaza Strip, including firing thousands of rockets and sending dozens of terrorists to infiltrate the Jewish state.

Hamas terrorists also abducted more than 100 Israeli citizens into Gaza during the terrorist assault, Israel’s Government Press Office said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Halevi’s remarks came shortly before he joined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a security assessment at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant holds an operational assessment together with Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and senior IDF officials, Oct. 8, 2023. Photo by Ariel Hermoni/Israeli Ministry of Defense.

In addition to Netanyahu and Halevi, the meeting was attended by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) director Ronen Bar, Mossad director David Barnea, National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi and several senior IDF officials, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Ahead of the meeting at the Kirya, Gallant held an assessment with Maj. Gen. Rafi Milo, head of the Home Front Command, and other army officials, the Defense Ministry announced.

Gallant reportedly told officials that Israel aims to “destroy the enemy and save the lives of our citizens,” and instructed the IDF to provide weapons, ammunition and troops to security teams in communities near the border with the Gaza Strip.

Gallant also praised the IDF for its evacuation of citizens from border towns and ordered officials to put together plans for a possible evacuation of communities on the country’s northern border as well.

On Sunday morning, the IDF hit targets in Southern Lebanon with artillery, after Hezbollah terrorists there fired mortars at the Jewish state.

There were no casualties in the Hezbollah attack.

The mortar shells struck in the contested Mount Dov area close to the Blue Line, the 75-mile border with Lebanon. U.N. cartographers demarcated it in the year 2000 to verify Israel’s withdrawal from the Land of the Cedars.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack, saying it targeted three Israeli military sites in solidarity with the “Palestinian resistance.”

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