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IDF Spokesman Hagari ahead of Memorial Day: We will 'achieve an enduring defeat of Hamas and bring all our hostages home'

As Israelis prepare for Memorial Day, which begins on Sunday, followed by the nation's 76th Independence Day celebration beginning Monday evening, Israel continues its war in Gaza against the Hamas terrorist organization, now in its 219th day.

In a public address on Sunday morning, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari stated that Israel Defense Forces was conducting a limited, precision operation in the southern town of Rafah, where four battalions of Hamas operatives and their top leadership are holed up, protected by their ‘human shields’ – the remaining Israeli 130 hostages and their own people.

Hagari stated that the operations are part of the IDF's "efforts to achieve an enduring defeat of Hamas and bring all our hostages home."

"Our operations against Hamas in Rafah remain limited in scope and focus on: tactical advances; tactical adjustments; and military advantages – and have avoided densely populated areas," he noted.

The IDF spokesman affirmed that the IDF's ground incursion into Rafah has focused on "military targets, eliminating dozens of terrorists, exposing underground tunnels, destroying military installations and seizing a vast amount of weapons, while avoiding densely populated areas."

Hagari issued another call to Palestinian residents in Gaza: "We urge civilians to temporarily move towards humanitarian areas and move away from the crossfire that Hamas puts them in."

"Our war is against Hamas, not against the people of Gaza," Hagari emphasized in his statement.

In his statement, Hagari also noted Israel's efforts to facilitate humanitarian aid into Gaza. He highlighted the delivery of fuel, the opening of a new field hospital, and ensuring the flow of aid to Rafah.

"Over the last few days, we facilitated the entry of 200,000 liters of fuel through the Kerem Shalom crossing; we facilitated and coordinated the opening of a new field hospital in Central Gaza; and we are operating to enable the flow of humanitarian aid to Rafah through the Salah Al-Din Road."

Hagari pointed out that Hamas operatives have attacked humanitarian aid routes that Israel had been using and highlighted the IDF's objective to eliminate Hamas.

"Over the last few days alone, we were all reminded why our pursuit against Hamas is vital: Hamas fired rockets from Rafah towards the Kerem Shalom humanitarian aid crossing – the very crossing that Israel uses to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza."

Hagari announced that Hamas had fired nine rockets from Rafah toward the Israeli city of Beersheva on Friday night.

The attack resulted in one woman being lightly injured from shrapnel and caused property damage. This was the first time that Beersheva has been targeted since December. One of the missiles landed in an empty children’s playground.

Hagari concluded his public address by reiterating, "We will continue fulfilling our mission of achieving an enduring defeat of Hamas and bring our hostages back home."

IDF soldiers are facing opposition from Hamas and other terrorists in Gaza.

According to an eyewitness report from IDF soldiers, cited by Israel Realtime: "Everything is booby trapped, we come across a lot of booby trapped buildings and tunnels that we haven't seen before, Hamas is thoroughly organized and ready for the IDF to enter Rafah.” 

The Washington Post reported the that U.S. administration is attempting to stave off a full-scale incursion into Rafah by offering the Israeli military valuable and sensitive intelligence that would enable Israel to pinpoint the location of Hamas leaders and find their hidden tunnels.

At the same time, the U.S. delayed the delivery of weapons Israel needs to carry out pinpoint attacks, even though the United Nations determined that Israel is operating according to international law in Gaza.

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

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