Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Monday that as the IDF intensifies its operations in Hamas's remaining strongholds in the Gaza Strip, the terror group's leadership is losing its ability to effectively coordinate its forces on the ground.
“The IDF is operating with great intensity and precision, as ground operations advance and achieve their objectives. Hamas’s battalions have been dismantled and are no longer functioning within their military framework, with over half of Hamas terrorists being either injured or killed," Gallant at the opening of a televised press conference.
The defense chief noted that 18 of the terrorist organization’s 24 battalions in Gaza are no longer functional as cohesive military frameworks, and that three of the Islamist group’s four battalions in the southern city of Khan Younis, where the bulk of IDF operations have been focused on in recent weeks, have been dismantled, while the remaining battalion in teetering on the brink.
Gallant said that Israeli forces have captured valuable intelligence recovered from various electronic devices and hard drives throughout the Gaza Strip.
"I want to make it absolutely clear - the ground operation is one of the most complex and intricate undertakings in the history of warfare."
He further vowed to continue ground operations into areas of Gaza in which the IDF has yet to enter in full force, namely the refugee camp in the territory’s center and the southern city of Rafah. He reiterated that Israel would only give Hamas terrorists two options: either surrender unconditionally or be killed.
Gallant emphasized that the military pressure is bringing about the breakdown of Hamas as a governing body, adding that the terror group’s leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar is “currently on the run from the IDF, moving from hiding place to hiding place and unable to communicate with his forces. He is preoccupied with his personal survival. He has turned from the head of Hamas into a fugitive terrorist."
Gallant further said that IDF forces have uncovered evidence indicating the places where Sinwar has recently been and that Israeli troops “continue to pursue him both above and below ground."
Regarding the ongoing hostilities with Hezbollah on Israel’s northern front, he remarked, "We prefer a diplomatic process over war, under the simple condition that Hezbollah cannot threaten us through raids or rocket fire. If the diplomatic effort fails, we will not hesitate to use military force to return the residents to their homes," he said.