IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi released a video statement in Hebrew in which he discussed the IDF's activities and the state of the war in Gaza.

"One hundred and sixty-three days to the war. We are fighting a just, multi-arena, and complex war, with many achievements, which continue to expand. We still have a long way to go until the goals of the war are achieved. IDF forces are fighting in all arenas - in Gaza, in the center and the north, in arenas near and far - non-stop," Halevi opened.

Regarding Ramadan, he stated: "This week the month of Ramadan began, and we are more alert, stronger, and are prepared - everywhere, all the time, non-stop. Every development in one arena affects the other arenas of war. We operate first and foremost to maintain security, thwart and prevent terrorist attacks, alongside the desire to enable Ramadan."

Turning to the war in Gaza he announced: "In the Gaza Strip, we are surprising the enemy, initiating and further deepening the military achievements.

"In the northern Gaza Strip - we are returning and initiating operational raids in areas where we previously operated, using new intelligence and different methods - expanding the damage to Hamas, killing operatives, and destroying infrastructure in a targeted and high-quality manner.

"In the southern Gaza Strip, in Khan Yunis, we are concentrating an effort of quality forces to dismantle the Khan Yunis Brigade. We have killed many terrorists and apprehended many senior terror operatives for the purpose of interrogation. Those who remain alive, are hiding, have difficulty operating - we will reach them too."

Hinting at Marwan Issa, Mohammed Deif's deputy, who was reportedly eliminated in an IDF airstrike, he remarked: "Last week, on a complex and precise attack in the Nuseirat area, we struck senior Hamas commanders whose fate Hamas is trying very hard to hide."

He explained: "We embarked on this operation after many days of complex planning, creating the operational conditions and gathering sufficient intelligence. This is an incredibly important achievement for the IDF. A capability we have built over the years together with the ISA, a combination of high-quality intelligence and precise fire from the Air Force, which enables the elimination of senior officials underground. This strike is an expression of the IDF's ability to reach the most complex places - at the right time, and with high precision. We will continue the effort to eliminate the senior officials, this is a major goal in the war.

"Alongside managing the combat, we continue to plan continued strikes in areas where we have not yet operated. The IDF is preparing for attacks in these additional areas and together with the political echelon we will decide on the timing and on the right conditions of the strikes. As soon as it is decided - the IDF will act with full force and determination. We are determined to operate wherever Hamas builds its force; it is wrong to leave Hamas with functioning battalions and brigades."

The Chief of Staff warned: "Hamas can lay down its weapons and surrender, otherwise, we will continue with great force, until Hamas is completely dismantled and until the hostages are returned to their homes. Their return is one of the goals of the war, and the IDF will do everything in order to achieve it. The details of the negotiations should be left for discussion in the correct forums, we are working with determination in every possible channel to bring about the release of the hostages. One thing is certain - the IDF will implement any decision that is made and will know how to return to fighting at any stage. Hamas has chosen to escalate in Ramadan, and this will lead to increasing pressure."

Regarding the northern border, Halevi said the IDF continues to damage Hezbollah's operatives and its capabilities. "Hezbollah began with aggression and is paying a heavy price for it that continues to grow.

"I am alert and attentive to the great difficulty of the residents of the north, who have been evacuated from their homes for a very long time. We will return the residents only with full security. To that end, we will go through any means necessary - the IDF and its commanders are ready and determined to make this happen, this is our duty."

In Judea and Samaria, Halevi noted that the IDF operates to thwart terrorism around the clock together with the ISA and with the Israel Police - for the sake of the security of the communities, roads, and the seam zone.

The Chief of Staff also mentioned various cases in which high-ranking commanders were reprimanded. "I want to say a few words about the IDF. The IDF commanders, both the younger and the more senior commanders, are commanding over a challenging and complex war, in several arenas at the same time, they have been doing so for over five months, bringing ever-growing achievements. In war, it is very important to allow the commanders on the battlefield the freedom required to carry out their missions - I trust them and appreciate them very much. In the same breath, I'll say the obvious - you cannot fight when the discipline and rules are not clear and are not strictly observed. The balance between them is the key to success. A commander cannot override an order without permission, without clear and urgent operational reasons. Commanders who violated the rules - were investigated, and dealt with accordingly. This is our duty.

"We have quality commanders who fight bravely, in places where they made a mistake or deviated from the orders, there was learning, and there was also disciplinary and command treatment during the fighting. That's what’s needed, that's how it will be. We - the IDF and its commanders - must now focus on only one thing - achieving the goals of the war. Our achievements on the battlefield are the result of the unity of our ranks, alongside the ability to act together in accordance with IDF values ​​and orders."

Halevi concluded: "I would like to clarify - as we have said from day one, we failed on the 7th of October. We did not take responsibility - the responsibility is ours. Regarding what happened and what will happen from here and onward. And at the same time - it is important to emphasize, we quickly came to our senses, launched a powerful operation, and we are leading the army in this complex war, around the clock. (It has continued) for over five months and we have the strength to continue onwards. We are focused on bringing the security that the citizens of Israel deserve. The hostages and their families are at the forefront of our minds all the time. So are the residents of the South and of the North who have not yet returned to their homes. This is a task that will continue for a long time, and I, as the commander of the army, am responsible for it. I am very confident in our ability to meet this task together."