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'Your job is to eliminate Hamas' - Israeli DM Gallant visits IDF soldiers in Rafah

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets soldiers in Rafah, May 26, 2024 (Photo: Ariel Hermoni/IMoD)

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant conducted an operational assessment in Rafah on Sunday, accompanied by Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Amir Baram, the commander of Division 162, and the commanders of the IDF brigades deployed in the area.

“Our goals in Gaza are emphasized here in Rafah – to destroy Hamas, return the hostages, and maintain freedom of operation,” Gallant said. “Regarding the hostage issue – we are making tremendous efforts and will continue to do so, via both kinetic activities and by reaching agreements.”

During the assessment, the defense minister was briefed on the military operations both above and below ground, as well as the expansion of operations to dismantle Hamas battalions in other areas.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meets soldiers in Rafah, May 26, 2024 (Photo: Ariel Hermoni/IMoD)

He later spoke with soldiers serving on reserve duty in the Rafah area.

“Remember, your job is to eliminate Hamas, to win this war. Our job is to take it [your achievements] and take it to the next level in Gaza and across the Middle East. These issues are connected.”

“Efforts to return the hostages [home] are ongoing, even at this very moment,” he added, reinforcing Israel's war objectives to defeat Hamas and bring the remaining Israeli hostages back home.

Addressing any possible disunity in the ranks, Gallant reminded the soldiers that they were to follow the orders of their commanders.

“In the IDF there is only one authority – it is the authority held by the Commander, and each person has his own commander, whether it’s the platoon commander, battalion commander, brigade or division commander – and finally there’s the Chief of the General Staff. He is the one who directs the military."

“There are no external parties or actors speaking on his behalf. This is the law and that’s how it works and will continue to work.”

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in a security assessment in Rafah, May 26, 2024 (Photo: Ariel Hermoni/IMoD)

Gallant ended his visit with a note of gratitude, acknowledging that reserve soldiers are the ones leaving their families, jobs, and daily lives behind.

“Thank you very much for fighting since October 7th – troops in reserve duty with families, I appreciate [your sacrifice] and I know that my appreciation reflects the sentiment of the entire Israeli public. Thank you very much.”

On Sunday evening, in a precision attack on a Hamas compound in Rafah, the Israeli Air Force eliminated two Hamas commanders responsible for West Bank terror attacks.

Hamas claimed that 35 people were killed in the strike.

IDF acknowledged the report and said it would investigate the incident while stating the strike was “legitimate.” 

“The strike was carried out against legitimate targets under international law, using precise munitions and on the basis of precise intelligence that indicated Hamas' use of the area,” the statement read.

“The IDF is aware of reports indicating that as a result of the strike and fire that was ignited several civilians in the area were harmed. The incident is under review.” 

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

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