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Israeli Army Chief Foresees Extended Duration Of Conflict With Hamas Militants In Gaza

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(CTN News) – Israeli Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi has announced an expansion of military operations in southern and central Gaza, stating that the dismantling of all Hamas battalions in the northern part of the Strip is nearing completion.

While acknowledging the success in eliminating terrorists, commanders, and destroying infrastructure in the north, Halevi cautioned that in the densely populated urban areas where terrorists blend with civilians, complete eradication is challenging.

Halevi emphasized that the IDF is likely to encounter Hamas fighters in the northern Gaza area, even after the last battalion is dismantled. Efforts are now concentrated in the south of Gaza, particularly Khan Younis and the central camps.

The IDF aims to both preserve and deepen the achievements in the north while preventing a return to the security conditions before October 7.

Halevi anticipates that the conflict will persist for “many more months,” underscoring the ongoing commitment to confront and pursue Hamas fighters.

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“The Air Force is conducting continuous strikes, targeting enemy facilities and structures that pose a threat to our forces,” states Halevi. He reassures that the IDF is precise and focused in its operations, ensuring that ground forces receive robust air, sea, and land support.

Halevi Stresses Calculated Resource Use and Long-Term Strategy Amid Israel-Gaza Ongoing Conflict

Despite concerns about the adequacy of air support for ground forces, Halevi emphasizes the calculated use of resources, highlighting the necessity of ground operations for demolishing Hamas infrastructure.

He affirms the IDF’s readiness for continued fighting in all arenas and emphasizes the professional and rational approach taken in utilizing available resources.

“The objectives of this war are essential yet challenging to accomplish within the intricate terrain. Consequently, the conflict is anticipated to persist for several more months, during which we will employ diverse strategies to ensure the long-term success of our goals,” he states.

He emphasizes the ongoing adaptability of the IDF, tailoring its combat methods to the specificities of each area in the Gaza Strip.

Acknowledging the absence of quick fixes, Halevi underscores the necessity of persistent and resolute engagement in dismantling a terrorist organization.

He reiterates the IDF’s unwavering determination and commitment to reaching the leadership of Hamas, irrespective of the time required—be it a week or several months.

“We are intensifying military pressure through various, potent, and sometimes deceptive means. This pressure is instrumental in achieving the war’s objectives, including the dismantling of Hamas and the safe return of hostages,” Halevi asserts.

Despite the challenges, he reaffirms the IDF’s steadfast dedication to bringing hostages home, characterizing the ongoing conflict as a just and unparalleled struggle.

Halevi acknowledges the heavy toll the war has exacted, with the loss of some of the nation’s finest individuals. He assures that their sacrifice will not be in vain, pledging to uphold the commitment to national security and the well-being of the country.

Halevi assures that the military will address the “many difficult questions” that have emerged in the aftermath of the October 7 attack.

“We are bound to provide answers to all of them through a comprehensive investigation. No question or lesson will be overlooked. We are committed to conducting a thorough inquiry at the earliest opportunity, and the findings will be made public with transparency,” he asserts.

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Addressing Criticisms and Emphasizing Complexity: Commander Halevi’s Response

Responding to criticisms of decisions made by commanders in Gaza and during the October 7 conflict in southern Israel, Halevi, drawing on his extensive experience as a combat commander, emphasizes the complexity of battlefield scenarios.

He underscores the responsibility borne by decision-makers for both successes and failures, highlighting the chosen path of those in uniform to dedicate their lives to the security of the country.

“On October 7, many commanders faced challenging decisions, and I express my gratitude to each of them for bravely confronting this difficult task and risking their lives with unwavering commitment.

The decisions of the commanders, including my own, will undergo thorough investigation and analysis when the operational situation permits,” Halevi states.

Recognizing that these commanders are currently risking their lives in combat, Halevi advocates against attacking and judging them while they are leading forces inside the Strip amidst ongoing conflict.

He emphasizes the commitment to continuous learning and improvement as the military continues its operations.

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