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Israeli army ready for ground offensive against Hamas, IDF chief declares

Halevi also sends a special warning to Hezbollah in Lebanon

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi (Photo: Screenshot/IDF)

Hamas terrorists “are already beginning to regret” starting the war against Israel as the Israel Defense Forces are preparing for a ground offensive in Gaza, the Israeli military's Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said in a special press briefing on Tuesday afternoon.

Halevi touched on several aspects of "Operation Iron Swords" in his comments and thanked Israeli citizens and soldiers for their heroic efforts in repelling the Hamas invasion on Oct. 7.

“The containment battles of citizens, members of the security forces, soldiers and commanders on October 7th deserve a lot of appreciation. Many hundreds of terrorists were killed thanks to the bravery of the fighters.”

Halevi also said he had toured the Gaza border area and visited IDF troops who are waiting for the order to begin the ground invasion, and emphasized that the soldiers are ready.

A ground invasion is thought to be imminent for the IDF to destroy the Hamas terror organization in the Gaza Strip.

“The goals of the war as defined for us by the Israeli government are the destruction of Hamas, the restoration of security to the residents of Israel, and a supreme effort to free the abductees and return them home.”

“We prepared for this, we equipped ourselves with good equipment, among the most advanced in the world. But mainly, we have the best fighters for these missions,” the IDF chief said.

“The IDF and the Southern Command have high-quality attack plans to achieve the goals of the war. I want it to be clear – the IDF is ready to maneuver, and together with the political echelon we will decide the nature and timing of the next phase,” Halevi stressed.

Regarding the delay in the start of the ground invasion as the war nears its third week, he said: “At this stage, there are tactical to strategic considerations that allow us more time to improve and use every minute to be even more prepared. On the other hand, every minute that passes we attack the enemy more, kill its operatives, kill its commanders, destroy its infrastructure and gather more intelligence for the next phase.”

Meanwhile, the IDF continues to strike Hamas targets.

“We are attacking all the time and non-stop in the Gaza Strip. Day and night, from the air, sea, and land, targets based on quality and focused intelligence,” Halevi stressed.

He also sent a special warning to Hezbollah in Lebanon, as the terror organization continues its daily strikes on Israel.

“We will immediately strike any Hezbollah unit that wants or tries to harm Israeli citizens or IDF soldiers. Hezbollah is an organization that cooperates with the murderous attack of Hamas, and thus identifies with ISIS, under the guise of ‘protecting Lebanon.’ We are strongly prepared, ready, and alert, also for the possibility of the expansion of the arenas, near and far,” Halevi affirmed.

“We will never forget the children who were murdered, the women who were separated from their husbands, the atrocities. We take these pictures with us forward to the battlefield, determined, and we will do it like warriors.”

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

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