The IDF needs a few more weeks to move on to the next phase of the fighting, which will include raids throughout the Gaza Strip and will last for many months, even more than a year. The army defines 2024 as a "year of fighting," during which the entire regular army will continue fighting in the various sectors, and reservists will be required to report for reserve duty for at least a month.
Elimination of terrorists and destruction of weapons: Since the beginning of the fighting, over 22,000 targets have been attacked // IDF Spokesperson
The army stresses that the transition between the current phase of focused maneuvers in the northern and southern Gaza Strip and the phase of raids will not happen all at once, and in any case no one will declare an end to the fighting in the foreseeable future. The objective of the continuation of the fighting will be to prevent Hamas from rebuilding and to allow conditions for the return of the residents of the Gaza envelope to their homes.
Hamas shows "signs of breakage"
The army notes that in order to bring about the achievement and restore security, many resources will be required, the construction of new units in the IDF, the cancellation of shortened service, and more.
As for the fighting itself, at this stage, the IDF notes, Hamas is already showing "signs of breakage," but this refers mainly to the northern Gaza Strip, while more time is needed in the southern Gaza Strip. At the moment, the IDF's operation in the southern Gaza Strip is focused on Khan Yunis, but the army has not yet entered the central camps and other areas such as Rafah, where there is sensitivity, among other things, due to the proximity to the Egyptian border.
A fighter from Battalion 101 launches a drone in Gaza, photo: Yossi Zeliger
According to a military source: "In recent days, Hamas has been seeing signs of breakage. The scale of destruction and damage creates command and control problems. There are areas in the Gaza Strip that Hamas no longer controls militarily." The source added, "Despite the achievements, we are not close to the end of the fighting. They continue to operate with great force and dismantle entire Hamas battalions. About half of Hamas' battalion commanders were thwarted."
The army notes that even when the IDF deepens its achievement, it does not mean that there will be no more rockets or Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, but that the military units of the terrorist organization will no longer function, and neither will its regime capabilities. According to estimates, Hamas has so far had about 7,000 dead and a larger number wounded.
The army hopes the achievements will keep Hezbollah away from the border
Regarding the American demand for humanitarian aid to Gaza, the military notes that it can be done as long as it gives the army the opportunity to continue fighting.
IDF bombings in southern Lebanon, photo: AFP
As far as the Lebanese border is concerned, the army notes that quite a few of the recent actions are initiated, and not just a response to attacks by Hezbollah. Recently, the IDF hit Hezbollah's infrastructure along the border, and beyond, it did hit quite a few Hezbollah terrorists and Palestinians operating along the border with Israel.
The army hopes that the tactical achievements, in addition to political action that will put pressure on Hezbollah, with the pictures coming out of Gaza, will cause Hezbollah to be removed from the border. In addition, the army is working on another defensive system along the border, and is preparing to deploy many forces along the border.
It is not at all certain that this will satisfy the residents of the conflict line after the massacre of October 7, but at this time, this is the chosen course of action, although the IDF notes that there may be no escape and Israel will have to move to a state of war with Hezbollah, which will look completely different from the war being waged in the south. A decision point on the issue will probably be when the intensity of the fighting in the Gaza Strip decreases.
It is estimated that hundreds of shafts and tunnels have not yet been treated. IDF forces in the Hamas tunnel in the Gaza Strip, photo: Reuters
As for the threat coming from Yemen, at this stage the army is trying to brand the event as an international event, not an Israeli one. Israel notes with satisfaction that recently the United States, Britain and other countries have been sending ships to the region to resolve the issue of freedom of navigation, and these countries are updating Israel and consulting with it. Israel also notes that the responsibility also lies with Iran, which finances, arms, and operates the Houthis, which are a Shiite militia.
Elimination of terrorists and destruction of weapons
Meanwhile, the IDF Spokesperson announced today that in cooperation between the Air Force, naval forces and fighters operating on the ground in the Gaza Strip; Since the resumption of hostilities, more than 3,500 targets have been attacked in the Gaza Strip, and since the beginning of the fighting, more than 22,000 targets have been attacked
IDF fighters operate in the Gaza Strip opposite a number of terrorist strongholds: in Jabalia, Shejaiya, Beit Hanoun and Khan Yunis. The forces raid terrorist targets, eliminate terrorists, locate and destroy weapons and terrorist infrastructure. Israeli naval forces operate in the maritime area in the Gaza Strip, assisting ground forces and attacking terrorist targets from the sea.
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