The Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, confirmed this Thursday that his troops are surrounding Gaza City from various directions and that they are also operating in the town, located in the northern Gaza Strip.
“We have advanced another significant stage in the war. Our forces are in the heart of northern Gaza, operating in Gaza City,” said Halevi, who said that Israeli troops are “deepening” the ground offensive and are already achieved “achievements”, according to ‘The Times of Israel’.
However, despite celebrating progress in the northern Gaza Strip, Halevi has stressed the difficulty of the fighting. “The forces are fighting in a dense and complex urban area, which requires professional combat and courage,” added the Israeli chief of staff.
“The ground forces are accompanied by precise intelligence, with fire from the air and from the sea. This association makes combat much more effective,” added Halevi, who highlighted that the Israeli military “fights hand-to-hand against a cruel enemy.”
However, despite the complexity of the battle scenario, Halevi has highlighted that Israeli troops have the “enormous advantage” of their “comradeship and battle spirit.” “The spirit of Israeli society and the Justice of our cause accompany us at all times,” he said.
On the other hand, Halevi has lamented that the war already has a “painful and difficult price” after the death of 18 soldiers during the ground operation, which adds to the nearly 1,400 deaths after the offensive of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). on October 7.
During that attack, the Palestinian militia also took the opportunity to take more than 200 people hostage, about whom Halevi has asserted that the Israeli Army has the “obligation” to make them return safely to their homes. Hamas has already released four people.
FUEL TO THE GAZA STRIP
On the other hand, Halevi has expressed his willingness to allow fuel to enter the Gaza Strip for use in hospitals, as long as the existing reserves in the Palestinian enclave are completely exhausted.
“For more than a week we have been told that fuel will run out in hospitals, and that has not been the case,” said Halevi, who assured that when reserves run out, fuel will be sent but “under supervision.”
“We will do everything possible to ensure that it does not reach Hamas’ infrastructure and does not serve the war objectives,” concluded the Israeli Chief of Staff, who stressed that the best thing for regional security is for Hamas to stop control Gaza.
Later, the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu detailed that the Israeli head of government has at no time authorized the supply of fuel to the Gaza Strip. US estimates indicate that Hamas controls about 40 percent of the fuel stored in the Palestinian enclave.