IDF Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi met with the brigade commanders of the 36th Division in Gaza, and conducted a situational assessment for continued operations, along with the Commanding Officer of the Southern Command and the Commander of the 36th Division.

Speaking during the assessment, Halevi said, "We are trying to connect the goals of the war, so that the pressure from the ground operation brings about the ability to also achieve the goal of this war, to create the conditions for the release of the abducted hostages."

"We are not ending the war," he stressed. "We will continue until we are victorious, going forward and continuing in other Hamas areas. I'm very proud of you, you are doing an outstanding job."

On Tuesday night, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi visited IDF troops in Gaza. During his visit, Halevi stated that Israel's military pressure on Hamas is creating “better conditions” for the hundreds of hostages being held by Hamas amid reports that a deal to free dozens of hostages is near.

He told the soldiers: "You are doing an outstanding job. Seriously, it is really impressive. You entered here with force. You dealt a swift blow to Hamas' Beit Hanoun battalion. The way ahead is still long. We must be determined to take this route and deliver maximum achievements, to dismantle Hamas militarily and governmentally, to establish improved security in the communities in the southern region, and to bring back the hostages.."

“All these things work together. You should know that your work in the ground maneuver also creates better conditions for bringing back the hostages. It hurts Hamas, it creates pressure, and we will continue this pressure,” he said.

"Tell your families that we appreciate you very much. We know that it is not easy. We very much appreciate that you are here helping us advance as much as possible. And we know that behind each one of you there is a family, there is a job. The whole country highly appreciates this. On behalf of the IDF, I convey my deepest appreciation and with your spirit, we are determined to decisively advance," Halevi concluded