Minister Gallant speaks to combat soldiers
Minister Gallant speaks to combat soldiersElad Malka

On Sunday, Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant visited the 11th Brigade together with senior IDF commanders. Gallant spoke with soldiers and commanders who recently left the Gaza strip, and was briefed on the brigade's operations in Shejaia, in the western area of Gaza City and in central areas of Gaza.

Gallant said to the combat soldiers, “I have been following the brigade’s operations since the start of the war. Thanks to what you have done and continue to do, these days we are conducting a negotiation process for the release of hostages. The terrorists who enjoy luxury cars, planes and hotels, are trying to harden their positions. Yet the [terrorists] who are in the field are very aware of what is actually happening – hundreds of terrorists surrender, thousands of terrorists are killed, weapon warehouses are being destroyed. Terrorists are surrendering – above and below the ground. This is happening as a result of your actions, of you and your friends.”

"This war cannot be ended with ‘points gained,’ it can only end with a 'knockout.' We must eliminate Hamas. If we want to live in this region, every terrorist within a radius of hundreds of kilometers from the State of Israel, must know that there is only one possible result following the type of attack that was committed - and in this case it is the elimination of Hamas’ military and governing capabilities.

”As long as there are hostages still held in the Gaza strip, we have no right to stop looking for the women, the children, the soldiers who are there – we have to go all the way. And military action does not necessarily result in an operational outcome, but also in the fact that at the end there are those who are ready to talk to us. This is the difference between the situations years ago and the situation now – during negotiations we brought 110 hostages to Israeli territory, because the other side needed peace, they needed us to stop killing him, that the 11th Brigade and others stop harming them. We will intensify the [military] pressure and continue our efforts – it's already happening now," the Defense Minister added.

Gallant also stated that "in the western Khan Yunis area, there are many, many terrorists, and also in other places. It is going to increase, and you will see it. We will all see it in the coming days because we have no alternative. I want to tell you something else. I know that everyone feels an atmosphere of stopping, refreshing, walking, returning home – we are very concerned about the reservists, we transferred a budget of billions in the government. It will go to employees, it will go to the self-employed, to help families, to help children."

"The IDF has proven once again that when it decides to carry out a mission, no one will stop it. And when an IDF brigade, and certainly an IDF division, starts moving in the northern Gaza Strip, it can go across the entire region even if it takes some time, and even if there are battles. At the end of the day, the result is very clear – the difference between the terrorist in the north of Gaza, in Beit Lahia, Beit Hanun or Sheja'ia, and the terrorist in the south – is only what the IDF will do, there is no one else to help him. If the IDF acts, the battalion will fall apart, and the terrorist will be killed. Basically, he has two options – either he surrenders, or he ends the battle dead. There is no third option. Therefore, this is the IDF’s mission, this is the IDF’s capability," he concluded.