IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi in Gaza
IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi in GazaIDF Spokesperson

IDF Chief Staff LTG Herzi Halevi conducted a situational assessment and a tour on Sunday in the eastern region of Deir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip.

He was accompanied by the Commanding Officer of the Southern Command, MG Yaron Finkelman, the Commanding Officer of the 98th Division, BG Dan Goldfus, and the combat team commanders who participated in Operation 'Arnon' for the rescue of the hostages yesterday (Saturday).

"Bringing home the hostages is a mission, bringing those who are no longer alive, the fallen, to burial in Israel, and - of course - to bring those who are alive back home. Dismantling Hamas is essential to prevent another October 7th. Bringing back the hostages is the moral duty that we strive for," the Chief of Staff stated.

Regarding the operation on Saturday he noted: "Yesterday, we accomplished a very, very important part of this mission. We have much more to do. I want to express here, with great appreciation, the exceptional cooperation between the Israel Police ‘Yamam’ (National Counter-Terrorism Unit), the Israel Security Agency (ISA), and us. Here, there was the IDF, the central bodies, the Southern Command, the Israel Air Force, the Intelligence Directorate (J2), and the Operations Directorate (J3), which coordinated all these efforts with a comprehensive, General Staff point of view, alongside many other factors. This cooperation enables us to undertake bold actions successfully."

He added: "I want to tell you that in the end, we make very difficult decisions. We were gathered on Saturday morning in the Command and Control Center without the guarantee of 100% success in the operation, not even 90%. We know we are taking significant risks and making fateful decisions, and these risks are risks to human lives. This is not a gamble; it's a calculated risk, not a dangerous calculation. We thoroughly assess the risks and create safety nets for them. The strongest safety net I see when I approve such an operation, knowing it's a critical decision, is the high quality of our commanders, which gives us the confidence to undertake daring operations for worthy goals."

הרמטכ"ל: לוקחים סיכונים והחלטות הרות גורלדובר צה"ל