Israel continues on the offensive against Hamas in the territories, and against Hezbollah in the north.
The military maneuver phase has ended in the north of the Gaza Strip; In the south of the Gaza Strip it is close to completion, reported journalist Amir Tsarfati. If the fire stops, the fate of the abductees will be sealed for many years in the captivity of Hamas. Without military pressure no one will talk to us. Only from a position of strength can the abductees be freed.
Below is Minister Gallant’s speech to IDF forces from today.
*Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant Visits IDF Judea and Samaria Division*
_Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant during a visit to the Judea and Samaria Division: “Hamas is trying to tie Gaza, and Judea and Samaria, and to ‘ignite’ the arena. We must do everything possible to prevent this – to address issues related to funds and workers. The alternative may harm our ability to achieve the goals of this war.”_
Today (14 January 2024) Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant held an operational situation assessment in the Judea and Samaria Division, together with the Head of the Central Command Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fox, Division Commander Brig. Gen. Yaki Dolf and commanders of the regional brigades.
Minister Gallant was briefed on counterterrorism activities in the area, and the troops’ operational efforts to secure roads and local communities. Minister Gallant commended the brigade commanders for their precise activities to eliminate terrorists while preventing harm to civilians. He also raised the allocation of the resources necessary for counterterrorism efforts.
Excerpts from his remarks:
“The activities that are conducted in this area are very impressive, and the results speak for themselves. This is reflective of the capabilities of the IDF and ISA.”
“There are issues that we must address, and I hope that the government will accept the position of the IDF and the ISA as it relates to workers and funds. I would like to emphasize: a strong Palestinian Authority is an Israeli security interest.”
“Hamas’ goal is to ‘ignite’ Judea and Samaria and, if possible, the Temple Mount as well. They [Hamas] counted on the Iranians, they counted on Hezbollah, they counted on the fact that they will exhaust Israeli society, they counted on a disconnect from the United States. None of this is working for them – so what is left? To try and do something that will ignite Judea and Samaria and ignite the Temple Mount and in this regard, I repeat – your [referring to the troops] duty is to prepare for war, to be ready with the forces, gather all the relevant intelligence and get ready.”
“On the other hand, it is our duty as an establishment to relieve the pressure. Relieving this pressure requires us to accept the recommendations provided by the IDF, regardless of one’s worldview. Our priority now is to win in Gaza, while defending Judea and Samaria and the northern arena.”
“As for the local communities – the number of violent incidents is decreasing significantly. The involvement of the communities in this issue is only partial. This does not characterize the communities of Judea and Samaria.”
“We have decided that we will defeat Hamas – we will not stop until we dismantle the capabilities of this organization, all over Gaza. We have declared war on Hamas in Judea and Samaria, in Lebanon – wherever it may be necessary.”
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