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'We will get to Yahya Sinwar and we will eliminate him,' Israeli defense minister warns Hamas leader in remarks to press

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant delivers remarks to the press, Nov. 4, 2023 (Photo: Ariel Hermoni)

Below is the full text of the remarks made by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Nov. 4, 2023 as provided by the Government Press Office.

Over the Sabbath I visited the north and south [of Israel]. Yesterday I visited the [IDF’s] Southern Command and today I was up north. I met our reserve soldiers at the northern border – officers and combat soldiers. One clear message emerged from our discussion – the soldiers turned to me and said – ‘we want to fight until we achieve a victory. We came from Israel and from abroad, some of us arrived in the first day [of the war] and some not long ago. We will stay here until this war ends in victory. It could take a month, and we are prepared for it to take a year – we have no problem [with this].’ These people filled me with both great pride and strength. These are fighters who are determined to everything [in their power] for the IDF to win and fulfill its mission.

I was joined by the Head of the Command and his Division Commander, in my discussion with Commander of Brigade 300. He told me about the battle waged inside Israel’s territory, against Hezbollah terrorists, about how he fought and lost a commander. Shortly after this, I conducted a second visit, at the [Druze] village of Yanuch-Jat. This village lost two commanders in battle, two deputy major generals. One fell in the south the day before yesterday, and one fell at the beginning of the war on the northern border. I saw the determination and courage. I heard from the families, the girls and boys, the members of the community. Everyone repeated what our troops in reserves had said earlier – we are ready to fight until the end.

There are also those who say to me: ‘I want to be the last to leave the battlefield.’ This sense of determination is shared by the entire Israeli public. I heard from Jews, from Druze, from Bedouins. The people of Israel must be proud of the fact that the whole nation stands together and declares in one voice: ‘there is no place for evil. There is no place for the Hamas [terrorist] organization – the ISIS of Gaza’ – this is the central theme in the eyes of our fighters.”

Heavy battles took place in Gaza during the Sabbath. IDF troops are operation from the north and south [of Gaza city] and have entered urban areas. They are fighting terrorists who [hide] in their headquarters, who come out of tunnels. They are destroying these hubs, their communication and command center, their bunkers and underground tunnels – using the full force of the IDF. The IDF attacks from the air, land and sea. The terrorists are faced with the power of the IDF – the Air Force strikes, the artillery and tank shelling, the combat engineers and others. I believe that we are progressing well – step by step. Many terrorists have been eliminated in battle. Hamas is suffering heavy blows and we are dismantling them – battalion by battalion.”

[Pointing to a map on a screen] These are parts of Gaza city – in every place like this, in every square meter like this, there is at least one [Hamas] battalion or company. Their infrastructure is collapsing as a result of the determined actions of our troops. I can tell you that 12 Hamas battalion commanders have already been eliminated. We will reach everyone, the chain of command and the terrorists in the field.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant points to a map during his remarks to the press, Nov. 4, 2023 (Photo: Ariel Hermoni)

The Hamas [terrorist] organization has no boundaries – Israel’s citizens witnessed this first hand on October 7 when they saw the murders, the abuse, the brutality, rape, kidnapping and other atrocities conducted by the terrorists. Hamas leadership is responsible for this and we will get to them. We will get to Yahya Sinwar and we will eliminate him.

To the residents of Gaza – if you get to them before us, it will shorten the war.”

Although the IDF is concentrating its efforts in the southern arena, there are additional arenas, namely the northern front. We have no interest in going to war with Hezbollah. At the same time, the IAF maintains the bulk of its forces in order to respond to any developments in the north. And at the same time, if Nasrallah makes the same mistake as Sinwar and drags Hezbollah into a war, this will have far-reaching effects on Lebanon. It will determine Lebanon’s fate.

Long days of fighting await us – it will not end in a day nor in a week. We fulfill missions, our troops know how to do the things that they have been tasked with. This process is progressing, and our troops operate with great power and professionalism.

One thing I can say to the citizens of Israel - at the end of the war there will no longer be Hamas in Gaza, there will be no security threat from the Gaza Strip to Israel, and Israel will have complete freedom of action to carry out any security action it needs against anyone who [threatens us].

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

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