Israeli Defense Minister: ‘Without victory we can’t live in the Middle East’

Gallant emphasized the importance of strengthening achievements in the northern area of Gaza while also focusing military efforts on the southern area of Khan Younis.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant, during his remarks on entering the Gaza Strip Tuesday for an operational assessment, declared that the notion that IDF was stopping its military operations in Gaza soon was “incorrect” and added, “Without a clear victory, we will not be able to live in the Middle East.”

Accompanying Gallant were Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Maj. Gen. Amir Baram and the troops of Division 99 led by Division Commander Brig. Gen. Barak Hiram.

Gallant emphasized the importance of holding the Salah-al-Din route to strengthen achievements in the northern area of Gaza while also focusing military efforts on the southern area of Khan Younis.

Minister Gallant spoke with reserve troops in Brigade 646 and expressed his appreciation for their sacrifice and achievements during the war.

“I sincerely appreciate all that you do – your ability to operate and fight over the past three months, while your partners and children are at home.”

He added, “I am also filled with gratitude for our fallen soldiers.”

Gallant focused on the importance of a firm military response to the atrocities of October 7th and ensuring they never happen again.

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“There is no worthier mission than the one we currently seek to achieve. Israel was brutally attacked – the intent [of the perpetrators] was to discourage us from living here.”

He continued, “Three months ago, [this attack] involved the murder of children and babies, and the rape of women – things that no country can allow, most certainly not the State of Israel.”

Gallant said there were two crucial reasons why Israel must emerge victorious from the military campaign–first, to exact a price from Hamas terrorists and second to ensure the safety of any Israeli who lives close to the Gaza Strip.

He added, “We must end with clear-cut deterrence and victory, otherwise we cannot live in the Middle East. As such, we are determined to achieve our goals.”

The Defense Minister described the achievements of the military operations and focus in the following stages.

Gallant said that although the IDF destroyed 12 Hamas battalions in the north of Gaza, there are still a few thousand of the 15,000 to 18,000 terrorist that have been neutralized.

He stated that in the north, “we will operate via firepower, some maneuvering, special operations, and if necessary, we will hold this area for a period of time.”

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Gallant added, “The goal is to exhaust the enemy [Hamas terrorists] and eliminate them.”

The Defense Minister emphasized that, contrary to erroneous reports, the IDF was not slowing military operations in the southern area including Khan Younis and were still dealing with tunnels and working to uncover the hiding places of Hamas leaders.

Gallant declared, “The results will be clear. We are ending this campaign when Hamas no longer functions as a governing body and certainly not as a military body.”

He also discussed the additional threat on the northern border of Israel from Hezbollah and said, “We are constantly watching the arena and holding a finger on the trigger.”