Yoav Gallant
Yoav GallantHezki Baruch

Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) on Sunday held an operational situation assessment at the IDF’s Northern Command Headquarters together with senior IDF officials.

The Minister of Defense was briefed by the Command’s intelligence and operations officers on the latest developments in the arena, as well as on plans and efforts undertaken to push back Hezbollah forces from the border area, to thwart Hezbollah firing squads and commanders, and to eliminate capabilities and assets.

Minister Gallant emphasized the importance of accumulating tactical achievements and exacting a significant price from Hezbollah, until an operational achievement is reached that will change the security situation in the border area, and that will enable the safe return of northern communities to their homes.

"I have arrived at the Northern Command following a weekend during which the IDF struck Hezbollah," Gallant said. "I came here to assess how we increase our firepower and prepare to operate against Hezbollah."

“We are striking their [Hezbollah] operatives and commanders. They are looking for replacements [for their operatives], and I can tell you that I don't see any volunteers - everyone is afraid. We will continue to strike them down.”

Gallant added, "If anyone here thinks that when we reach an agreement to release hostages in the south and the fire stops [in Gaza] temporarily, this will make things easier here - they are mistaken."

"We will continue the fire and we will do so independently from the south, until we achieve our goals. The goal is simple - to withdraw Hezbollah to where it should be - either via a [diplomatic] agreement, or we will do it by force."