Gallant in Rafah
Gallant in RafahAriel Hermoni/ Defense Ministry

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday held a situational assessment in Rafah, together with Deputy Chief of the General Staff Maj. Gen. Amir Baram, Commander of Division 162 and the commanders of the fighting brigades deployed to the area.

During the assessment, Minister Gallant was briefed on the troops’ operations above and below the ground, as well as the deepening of operations in additional areas with the aim of dismantling Hamas battalions. Minister Gallant later spoke with soldiers serving in reserve duty in the Rafah area.

"Our goals in the Gaza Strip have become much clearer here in Rafah: to eliminate Hamas, bring the hostages home, and preserve our freedom of movement - that is central," he said.

"On the matter of the hostages, we are making enormous efforts - we have done that until now, and we are still doing it now, and we will continue and act in the future in every way possible - both physically and by reaching deals.

"Remember: Your job is to eliminate Hamas, win the battle. Our job is to take your achievements to the next level in Gaza and across the Middle East. And these two issues are connected to each other.

Responding to one reservist's promise that he would not listen to anyone who told him to leave Gaza, Gallant said, "In the IDF there is only one authority – it is the authority held by the Commander, and each person has his own commander, whether it’s the platoon commander, battalion commander, brigade or division commander – and finally there’s the Chief of the General Staff. He is the one who directs the military."

"There are no external sources, there are no sources who speak in the 'name of' - this is the law, and this is how it works and how it will work.

"Thank you, and I have great appreciation for the fact that you are fighting since October 7, continuously, as reservists who have families. I appreciate your sacrifice, and I know that my appreciation reflects the sentiment of the entire Israeli public. Thank you very much.”