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Defense Minister Gallant: Captured terrorists reveal Hamas 'is collapsing from within'

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets with troops at an army base, March 31, 2024. (Photo: Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Captured senior Hamas terrorists have reportedly revealed to Israeli interrogators that “the group is collapsing from within” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced on Sunday.

“In the last week or two, hundreds of terrorists have been captured and what they say about what happened to them tells the whole story. They say that Hamas is collapsing from within, the price they are paying is very heavy,” Gallant stated while addressing IDF soldiers at the headquarters of the 98th Division.

The Israeli military says it has neutralized 18 out of Hamas’ total of 24 battalions in Gaza, with the remaining Hamas forces concentrated in the southern town of Rafah.

Gallant vowed that Israel Defense Forces would eventually eliminate all terrorists who were involved in the OCt.7 massacre of 1,200 Israeli men, women and children.

“We’re going to eliminate everyone who was involved in the events of October 7, the junior [officials], the senior ones and the very senior ones; those who were inside [Israel] or who gave instructions,” Gallant pledged.

“In the last few days, we have also seen very great progress, both in [reaching] the terrorists in the field and the more senior commanders, even very senior ones,” he added, referring to the extensive IDF operation at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, where hundreds of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists have been hiding.

Israeli troops in Gaza (Photo: IDF)

In mid-March, IDF troops launched a large military operation at the Shifa Hospital complex after Israel acquired intelligence that many terrorists, including senior terror commanders, were regrouping inside the hospital.

“We know that senior Hamas terrorists have regrouped inside the hospital and are using it to command attacks against Israel, Israeli military spokesman Brig-Gen. Daniel Hagari announced in March. Operating within civilian structures is a flagrant violation of international law.

The senior IDF official stressed that Israeli troops were only targeting terrorists and avoided harming civilians at the hospital compound.

“We seek no harm to the civilians Hamas is hiding behind,” Hagari said. “We call upon all Hamas terrorists hiding in [the] hospital, surrender immediately. Medical facilities should never be exploited for terror. Hamas must be held accountable.”

After an intensive military operation that lasted for two weeks, the Israel Defense Forces succeeded in eliminating at least 200 terrorists and capturing some 500 terrorists at Shifa without harming any civilians. The Israeli military eventually withdrew its forces from the hospital, which has served as an important nerve center of Hamas and other Gazan terrorist organizations.

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi praised the "highly successful operation"

"No one can take back the large number of terrorists we apprehended, the large number of terrorists we eliminated, so many senior officials,” he told senior commanders of the IDF Southern Command.

"There is a very, very important message here: A hospital is not a safe hiding place [for terrorists]," he added and said the terrorists can no longer say of the IDF: 'Here, they won’t touch us.'

In November, Israel released video footage from Shifa Hospital showing Hamas terrorists bringing Israeli hostages through the hospital entrance following the Oct. 7 invasion and massacre of Israel's southern border communities.

“These findings prove that the Hamas terrorist organization used the Shifa Hospital complex on the day of the Oct. 7 massacre as terrorist infrastructure,” the Israeli army stated.

During the raid, Israeli forces also targeted the main headquarters of (PIJ), an Iranian-supported organization allied with Hamas, which is also recognized as a terrorist group.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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