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DM Gallant says end of war must not include Hamas rule, government ‘advancing alternative to Hamas’

Defense minister proposes replacement force in areas liberated by IDF

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks with Israeli soldiers. Oct. 19, 2023 (Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90).

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant made a clear statement about Israel’s stance toward a ceasefire agreement with the Hamas terrorist organization during his visit on Sunday to the IDF's Southern Command for a situational assessment.

“In any process of ending the war, we will not accept the rule of Hamas," Gallant stated. 

The defense minister noted that Israel had proposed an alternative in areas that have been cleared of the terror group. 

“We are promoting a governmental alternative to Hamas in which we isolate areas, remove Hamas members and bring in other forces that will enable another regime,” Gallant stated. 

According to the defense minister, the initiative will help bring about Israel’s two main goals for the war. 

“These two actions – on the one hand military action and on the other hand the ability to change the regime – will lead to the achievement of two of the goals of this war – the toppling of the Hamas regime and its military power and the return of the hostages,” Gallant said.

“At any stage, in any process of ending the war, we will not accept the Hamas regime as the regime in Gaza.” 

He also said the IDF’s operation in the southern town of Rafah is “advancing above and below ground,” and noted the Israeli army is cutting off Hamas terrorists from their “oxygen pipeline.” 

“The forces are fighting with great determination and destroying the oxygen pipeline connecting the Gaza Strip and Egypt," Gallant stated. “We are suffocating Hamas and not allowing it to continue to exist. It will not have the ability to overcome, strengthen and arm itself.” 

Gallant’s statement is the first declaration from a member of the Israeli government indicating a clear plan for the administration of the Gaza Strip following the defeat of Hamas. 

Last month, War Cabinet member Benny Gantz issued an ultimatum to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to formulate a post-war plan for Gaza by June 8, or he would leave the coalition. 

The United States has also pressured Netanyahu to present a clear future plan for "the day after" the war in the Gaza Strip. 

On Sunday evening, the War Cabinet met to discuss the hostage release and ceasefire proposal put forth by U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday. 

In the meantime, the Israeli army continues military operations in Rafah and the targeted areas throughout Gaza.

The Givati ​​Brigade Combat Team has been conducting intelligence-based targeted operations in ​​the Yibna area of Rafah over the last few days. The troops eliminated several terrorists and destroyed the infrastructure used by terrorists in the area. Large quantities of weapons were discovered, including an anti-aircraft machine gun, vests, ammunition, AK-47s and a system for remotely activating explosives. 

In addition, soldiers of the IDF's 9th Battalion located rocket launch pits near the Philadelphi Corridor, a narrow strip of land along the southern border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, established to prevent smuggling and unauthorized movement across the border.

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

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