PM claims Israel close to 'dismantling Hamas military'

Netanyahu said eliminating remaining terrorists in Gaza would take additional time; IDF says once Hamas capabilities are removed, its focus can move to the northern border 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Israel “is advancing toward concluding the phase of dismantling Hamas’s military capabilities. It’ll take more effort to eliminate the remains of the terror group.”
Sources familiar with the details said it was still “too soon” to talk about halting the fighting in Gaza, despite Netanyahu’s claims during a visit on Sunday to the IDF Southern Command.
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חצאיםביבי בינימין נתניהו חיילים לוחמים פעילויות צה"ל מלחמה לחימה חרבות ברזל
חצאיםביבי בינימין נתניהו חיילים לוחמים פעילויות צה"ל מלחמה לחימה חרבות ברזל
IDF troops in the Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit, Reuters)
The transition to this stage in Rafah was planned for the beginning of the year but was delayed partly due to Israeli concerns about Hamas battalions in the south of the Strip and the strong American and Egyptian opposition to any IDF offensive there.
Ultimately, the IDF succeeded in evacuating most of the population from Rafah and the Philadelphi Corridor. Troops entered the area with only one division instead of the planned two, to dismantle Hamas complexes in the city's neighborhoods where major Hamas forces continue to operate.
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יוסי יהושוע בציר פילדלפי ברפיח, רצועת עזה
יוסי יהושוע בציר פילדלפי ברפיח, רצועת עזה
IDF soldiers in Gaza
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
The IDF said that this stage would provide Israel with significant breathing space and would last for many months during which the IDF would continue to operate against terror targets in the Strip.
A military presence would be maintained in the Philadelphi Corridor, Rafah and areas close to the border with Israel. These actions will enable operational control and the completion of operations deep within the Strip, focusing on eliminating senior Hamas figures, and destroying terror infrastructure while freeing more IDF forces to prepare for the possibility of a large-scale military operation against Hezbollah.

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