Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visited the Givati and Armor IDF troops inside the Gaza Strip to convey the ongoing support of the government and the nation, expressing appreciation for Israeli soldiers serving at the front.
The defense minister emphasized that Israel would use stronger military power once the current pause in fighting has expired.
"When we return to fight, the power will be greater, and will exist all over the Strip," Gallant vowed.
Gallant repeated the government’s central message that the military effort in Gaza would continue until the mission of eliminating Hamas as a military and political force is completed.
The defense minister, a retired IDF general and former elite Navy commander, thanked the soldiers for protecting Israel and stressed the need to intensify the efforts in the upcoming military operations in Gaza.
While recognizing the difficulties and complexities of the IDF operations in Gaza, Gallant stressed that the IDF troops had the privilege of fighting a war of historical importance for the future of the State of Israel.
"Consider this a great privilege, because not every generation gets to fight a just war that must be won. And so we are all behind you," Gallant stated.
The Jewish state agreed to four days of truce with Hamas after the Islamist terror organization agreed to release 50 Israeli hostages, mostly women, children and elderly.
In exchange, Israel released 150 Palestinian security prisoners from jail. The Israeli government on Monday agreed to extend the initial agreement by two additional days in exchange for the release of another 20 Israeli hostages.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently became the first Israeli premier to visit the Gaza Strip in two decades. Netanyahu was on the scene to personally thank the soldiers serving on the frontlines.
“We are here in the Gaza Strip with our heroic soldiers,” the prime minister said, reiterating Israel’s stated war goals.
“We are making every effort to return our hostages, and in the end, we will return them all. We have three goals in this war: Eliminate Hamas, return all of our hostages, and ensure that Gaza will not go back to being a threat to the State of Israel,” Netanyahu affirmed.
Israel currently controls most of the northern part of the Gaza Strip after several weeks of intense battles with Hamas forces.
Israeli forces have eliminated thousands of Hamas terror operatives and killed many senior Hamas commanders. At the same time, about 70 IDF soldiers have so far been killed inside Gaza.
Most remaining Hamas leaders and operatives are believed to have fled to the southern part of the Gaza Strip, alongside the majority of the more than two million Gazan civilians who were encouraged by the Israeli military to evacuate and move south for safety.
The remaining Hamas forces are reportedly concentrated in the southern Gazan towns of Khan Younis and Rafah, near the Egyptian border.
Once the fighting resumes, it is, therefore, likely that the IDF will increasingly direct its military power to the Hamas strongholds in southern Gaza. However, the operation is expected to be very challenging due to the presence of Israeli hostages and most civilian Gazans concentrated in the southern part of the coastal enclave.
In addition, the international community is expected to continue to increase its pressure on Israel to accept a long-term ceasefire which would basically allow Hamas the ability to continue operating, preparing for future attacks against Israel.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.