Halevi with the commanders of the 146th Division
Halevi with the commanders of the 146th DivisionIDF Spokesperson's Unit

Yesterday (Tuesday), on Israeli Independence Day, the Chief of the General Staff, LTG Herzi Halevi, held a situational assessment in the Rafah area in the southern Gaza Strip, along with the commanding officers of the 162nd Division, Commanding Officer of the Southern Command, MG Yaron Finkelman, Commanding Officer of the 162nd Division, BG Itzik Cohen and additional commanders.

Chief of Staff Halevi said, "We are striking widely and strongly in the north of the Gaza Strip in Jabaliya. And once again we see there attempts [by Hamas] to hold on and rebuild, therefore we need to deal with this again, and prove that we will return each time."

"We’re determined, we won’t let Hamas rebuild itself and they will pay a price," Halevi vowed. "In my opinion, in the last day or two, the number of terrorists eliminated per day has increased, which is important, and we want to return to eliminating many terrorists each day. Memorial Day was very, very meaningful, with many newly bereaved families."

"We act with great responsibility, you feel it here. I say to you that it is incredibly powerful to mark it here. Today, the State of Israel celebrates, marks Independence Day. You are making our independence. We are making our independence. I told the brigades’ commanding officers that I met the recipients of the President’s Award for Outstanding Soldiers. I had a varied day. Families of hostages, bereaved families, injured soldiers in Tel Hashomer, and then I came here to meet you," he said.

"Now we will go out and decide in order to make our independence. Because the citizens also want to see that we are fighting hard and making an impact. When I was at Tel Hashomer, a helicopter arrived with four wounded soldiers, I think it was from an explosive if I synchronize the timings. We saw them debarking and I saw the injured soldiers look out the window on the helipad and say we’re still powerful, we’re out of action, but we’re still here. One of them told me 'I will recover, rehabilitate and go to the officers course. We have power going forward,'" the Chief of Staff concluded.