Gallant – IDF intelligence work will lead to ‘realistic’ hostage deal

The weekly Cabinet meeting is taking place at the IDF’s security division to show ministers a display of recent intelligence findings in Gaza.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Sunday that the intelligence discoveries that the IDF has made in the field in the Gaza Strip over recent days and weeks is what will lead to a “realistic” hostage deal.

The weekly Cabinet meeting is taking place at the military’s security division to show ministers a display of some of the findings, which include “many maps, communication devices, documents, computers, hard drives” as well as armaments such as missiles and explosives, said Gallant in a video statement while standing in the middle of the room full of items.

“We penetrated into the heart of Hamas’s most sensitive places, and are using their intelligence against them,” he said of all the electronic and other material that has been thoroughly examined by the IDF’s intelligence collection and technical spoils unit.

“All of this is a result of deepening our penetration into the heart of Hamas’ abilities,” Gallant added, and “the deepening of the operation brings us closer to a realistic deal for the return of additional abductees.”

The defense minister thereby expressed his support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s position that military pressure is what will bring Hamas to agree to a reasonable price for the 136 hostages still remaining in their hands since October 7, of whom at least 32 have been declared dead by the IDF.

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Netanyahu had called “delusional” the most recent deal Hamas suggested, where among other things, they demanded 4.5 months of ceasefire ending with a complete IDF withdrawal from the coastal enclave. Additionally Hamas would have the ability to choose 500 hardened terrorists to be released from Israeli prisons among 1,500 in total, in exchange for the hostages.

On Friday, Kan News ran a report on the storehouses of booty that has been collected in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war. About NIS25 million in cash, including Egyptian and Jordanian money, has been found, with tens of thousands alone found in the home of Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar.

There are shipping containers full of ammunition, RPGs and guns, the vast majority of them either Russian or Chinese made Kalachnikov rifles, the latter coming from Iran. Boxes upon boxes of explosives and rockets actually made in Iran cover tables.

Unit commander Lieut. Col. Motti Zaversky pointed out that this amount was what was brought out “after the IDF destroyed not a small amount of military equipment” in the Gaza Strip.

The enemy has become more and more “professional” over the years, he noted, showing his interviewer handwritten battle-training manuals as an example.

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But perhaps one of the most shocking discoveries, the 20 year veteran said, was a doll of a baby found in one of the terror tunnels, with mock life-saving equipment attached to it.

It was there to prepare for infant hostages, Zaversky said simply. “It shows premeditation and cynicism and a method of planning that in my eyes is simply inhuman. And I admit that to see this item every day is a kick to the stomach.”