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IDF chief to troops: We will keep fighting ‘with determination’

“Any further negotiations will be under fire. If Hamas wants to discuss another deal, it will be while bombs fall,” says Israeli defense minister.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi holds a situation assessment in the Gaza Strip, Nov. 4, 2023. Credit: IDF.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi holds a situation assessment in the Gaza Strip, Nov. 4, 2023. Credit: IDF.

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi on Sunday assured troops in the Gaza Strip that Israel’s war against Hamas would resume following the ceasefire to rescue dozens of hostages being held by Hamas.

“The IDF and its soldiers fight fiercely to protect the lives of our people while upholding the values of the military. We created conditions for the release of the hostages, children and mothers, during this truce,” wrote Halevi.

“When the deal is completed, we will return to our operations with determination, for the continued release of the hostages and the complete dismantlement of Hamas,” he added.

Thirteen Israeli hostages were released by Hamas on Saturday night, in the second such exchange since a four-day truce took effect in the Gaza Strip the previous day. In separate deals, 15 foreign nationals have also been freed since the truce took effect on Friday.

In parallel, Israel has released 78 Palestinians jailed for security offenses. Jerusalem has also permitted some 200 trucks of goods to enter the Gaza Strip, in addition to fuel.

On Saturday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant vowed during a tour of the Gaza Strip that IDF troops would not leave the enclave until all of the remaining captives are returned.

“As soon as the military pressure is on, they [Hamas] want a break. When you increase the pressure, they want another break. When you increase more, they are ready to come with an offer, and when you increase even more, they come with an offer that can be accepted,” said Gallant.

“We cannot stop the war until we reach a situation in which we bring all the hostages back,” he said, adding: “Any further negotiations will be under fire. If Hamas wants to discuss another deal, it will be while bombs fall.”

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