Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant laid out Israel’s war aims in three stages while speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Friday.
The war against Hamas was unavoidable and a “war of no choice,” Gallant told the committee members.
He went on to give an overview of the army’s operations so far, before presenting his strategic aims for the war, which will be reached in three stages.
“We are in the first phase, in which a military campaign is taking place with [air]strikes and later with a [ground] maneuver with the purpose of destroying operatives and damaging infrastructure in order to defeat and destroy Hamas,” Gallant said.
“The second phase will be an intermediate phase, continuing the fighting at a lower intensity and eliminating pockets of resistance.”
“The third phase will be the creation of a new security regime in the Gaza Strip, the removal of Israel's responsibility for daily life there, and the creation of a new security reality for the citizens of Israel and the residents of the surrounding area,” Gallant explained.
At the start of the committee’s meeting, chairman Yuli Edelstein of the Likud party said, “We will give the IDF, the security forces and the cabinet all the latitude to operate. Whatever will be needed to win – they will get.”
“At the same time, the committee will monitor and examine at any given moment that we are acting in the right direction and that the goals of the war are being reached,” Edelstein added.
The pressure on the government to present a long-term plan for what would happen with the Gaza Strip after the war has been increasing from multiple directions, according to the Times of Israel.
National Unity Party head Benny Gantz and Knesset Member Gadi Eisenkot, who entered the government last week to form an emergency war cabinet, have demanded the creation of such a plan and tasked a committee with it.
U.S. President Joe Biden and his administration have also been pressing Israel to present a long-term strategy for the Gaza Strip.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.