IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari
IDF Spokesperson Daniel HagariFlash90

IDF Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari addressed the press on Sunday evening and discussed the Passover holiday in the shadow of the ongoing war and hostage crisis in the Gaza Strip.

"Tomorrow we will gather with our loved ones and celebrate the Passover Seder. A moment before the holiday that marks freedom, it is impossible not to think about those whose freedom was taken from them in an immensely cruel way. Passover will mark 200 days of the very real and painful absence of the hostages. Our moral obligation to return the 133 hostages and release them to freedom takes on an additional meaning today," Hagari opened.

Turning to the hostages, he said: "If the hostages hear us, I turn to you now - we will fight until you return home to us. Dear families of the hostages, we know that these are unbearable days for you and we promise that we will do everything, everything to return your loved ones."

Regarding the security situation, he stated: "IDF forces are deployed along the entire length of the borders of the State of Israel to ensure the safety of the citizens of the State of Israel. Even during the holiday, we must continue to be vigilant and adhere to the Home Front Command instructions. The instructions remain unchanged. If there are any changes, we will inform you immediately, responsibly, and transparently. At the front of our minds, is the security of our citizens.

"This week, In Gaza, we completed another operation in the central Gaza Strip against Hamas to destroy terrorist infrastructure and terrorists in order to prevent Hamas from restoring its capabilities. All the while there are forces operating inside Gaza alongside additional forces preparing for the next moves in the war. Today, the Chief of the General Staff was at the Southern Command and approved the next moves in the war."

Turning to the northern front, Hagari noted that this week, the IDF struck targets of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, including aerial defense array infrastructure deep inside Lebanon. "We are aware of the great difficulty endured by the residents of the north who have been away from their homes for such a long time. We are determined to continue to target Hezbollah, to push it to the north, and to create a security reality that will allow the residents of the north to return to their homes safely.

"In Judea and Samaria, IDF, ISA, and Israel Border Police soldiers completed a counter-terrorism operation in the Tulkarm area in which we eliminated terrorists, apprehended suspects, destroyed explosive production laboratories, and confiscated many weapons. IDF forces continue to operate in Judea and Samaria around the clock to counter terrorism and protect the roads. We are strengthening the defense before and during the holiday."

The Spokesman added: "Many regular and reserve IDF soldiers will celebrate the holiday when they are far from home, but they will celebrate the Seder together. I would like to thank and express such great appreciation to all the families of the reserve and career personnel, for the support which they receive at home, this support is very important to us. In the last few days, we have completed the preparations for the holiday and all the soldiers in the field will be served a warm and proper holiday meal.

"We do not forget those who are not with us tonight after they fought and fell on the battlefield. Dear bereaved families, on the eve of the holiday like every other day of the year, the pain is too much to bear, your loved one who sacrificed the most precious of all did it so that we could live here, we do not forget and will not forget, we are together with you," he concluded.