IDF Chief Vows ‘No Less Powerful’ Campaign

IDF Chief Vows ‘No Less Powerful’ Campaign

Dec. 4, 2023, 8:27 a.m.

Military spokesman says offensive expanded to ‘all areas’ of Strip; IAF carries out more than 10,000 strikes, eliminates Hamas battalion commander

Israel’s military confirmed that it had expanded its ground offensive into southern Gaza Sunday, promising to carry out its campaign with the same intensity as it has used in northern Gaza, where fighting has continued.

Speaking to troops at the Gaza Division in southern Israel, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said “yesterday, today, we killed [Hamas] battalion commanders, company commanders and many operatives. And yesterday morning we started the same move in the south of the Gaza Strip.”

“It will be no less powerful than [the operations in northern Gaza], the results will be no less [significant],” Halevi said. “The Hamas commanders will meet the IDF everywhere.”

Israel’s military confirmed that it had expanded its ground offensive into southern Gaza Sunday, promising to carry out its campaign with the same intensity as it has used in northern Gaza, where fighting has continued.

Speaking to troops at the Gaza Division in southern Israel, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said “yesterday, today, we killed [Hamas] battalion commanders, company commanders and many operatives. And yesterday morning we started the same move in the south of the Gaza Strip.”

“It will be no less powerful than [the operations in northern Gaza], the results will be no less [significant],” Halevi said. “The Hamas commanders will meet the IDF everywhere.”

“We have the capabilities to [operate] in the most thorough way, and just as we did it with strength and thoroughly in the north of the Gaza Strip, we are also doing it now in the south of the Gaza Strip,” he said.

He added that fighting in the north to “deepen achievements” was continuing.

In a press conference later Sunday, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the military was expanding the ground offensive to “all areas of the Gaza Strip.”

Halevi’s promise to not pull punches as troops move south could raise hackles in Washington, which has repeatedly urged Israel to do more to protect civilians in Gaza.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that in talks with Israeli leaders, he “underscored the imperative — for the United States — that the massive loss of civilian life and displacement of the scale that we saw in northern Gaza, not be repeated in the south.”

The army’s confirmation of the move south came after unconfirmed reports Sunday of IDF ground forces operating in the southern Gaza Strip, for the first time since the ground offensive was launched in late October.

Footage posted to social media has purported to show Israeli tanks on the Salah a-Din road, Gaza’s main north-south highway, between Deir al Balah and Khan Younis.

The footage came as both the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups claimed to have clashed with IDF soldiers in areas northeast of Khan Younis on Sunday.

Source: The Times of Israel

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