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Hamas has ceased to function in most of Gaza, says Israeli defense chief

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By World Israel News Staff

The Hamas terrorist organization has lost its capacity to operate as a military fighting force in most of the Gaza Strip, Israel’s defense chief said Tuesday, while warning that the group remains a viable force inside the border city of Rafah.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) addressed a hearing of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday, briefing lawmakers on the status of the war, and the IDF’s ongoing efforts to return hostages taken by Hamas and other Gaza terror groups.

“Military pressure was and remains the main and most significant element in ensuring the return of the hostages,” Gallant said.

“The advanced stage we have reached in dismantling Hamas and the information that we have gained from terrorists, empower us at the negotiation table and enable us to make difficult decisions. I am committed to returning all the hostages to their homes.”

Gallant emphasized that Hamas has been effectively dismantled as a military force in most of the Gaza Strip, but still maintains four operational battalions in Rafah, the last Hamas stronghold in Gaza.

“Hamas has ceased to function as a military organization in most parts of the Gaza Strip. Their commanders are hiding in tunnels, they have lost command and control capabilities, the battalion frameworks in most parts of the strip have ceased to function.”

“The Hamas brigade in Rafah however, is still standing, with its four battalions. We will address this soon,” Gallant continued, alluding to Israel’s planned Rafah operation

The Defense Minister also said the Israeli military needs to increase its manpower, pushing for the recruitment of more Ultra-Orthodox Jews, as the government mulls a replacement draft law to address the status of Ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students.

 

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