‘No safe haven for terrorists,’ vows Israeli defense minister ahead of Rafah operation

IDF will soon reach ‘every location’ in Gaza, says Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, hinting at looming Rafah operation.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visited the Gaza Strip Wednesday morning with the troops of the IDF’s Division 162, under the command of Brig. Gen. Itzik Cohen.

During his visit, Gallant held an operational situation assessment together with the Commander of the Nahal Brigade, Col. Yair Zuckerman, and the Commander of Brigade 401, Col. Benny Aharon.

While in the Strip, Gallant observed the work carried out in preparation for the maritime corridor.

The minister also spoke with battalion and division commanders who have been serving in the Gaza Strip for over five months – soldiers who expressed their motivation to continue operating until achievement of the war’s goals.

Gallant vowed that Israel would leave terrorists “no safe haven” in the coastal enclave, hinting at Israel’s impending operation in Rafah, the last Hamas stronghold in the Gaza Strip.

“I am here [in Gaza] with the forces of Division 162, adjacent to the corridor. I met the troops who are conducting extraordinary work above and below the ground. Our forces reach every location [necessary], and we can conclude that there is no safe haven for terrorists in Gaza.”

“Even those who think we are delayed, will soon see that we will reach every location [necessary]. We will bring to justice anyone who was involved in the events [massacre conducted] on October 7th.”

“We will either eliminate them [the terrorists] or bring them to trial in Israel. There is no safe haven – not here, not outside of Gaza, not across the Middle East – we will bring them to justice.”

Gallant expressed optimism that the planned maritime corridor, which will open a route for aid channeled through Cyprus and into a temporary port on the Gaza coast, would weaken Hamas’ position in the Strip.

“The humanitarian element that will soon be addressed with the expected arrival of the vessels [carrying aid], is a central issue that will facilitate the delivery of supplies to civilians and not to Hamas. Every action of this kind, weakens Hamas and strengthens us, and improves our ability to continue fighting.”