Israel’s army said Saturday that it wants to further increase military pressure on the Islamist Hamas as the war stretches into its 100th day.
This was announced by Israeli Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi.
“We approved plans for the Southern Command to continue combat and to increase military pressure on Hamas. Pressure that will lead to the dismantling of Hamas and the return of the hostages,” said Halevi.
“This pressure, and only it, has succeeded in returning many hostages.”
Sunday marks 100 days of war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
It was triggered by the devastating terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas and other extremist groups on October 7, which left about 1,200 people dead and about 250 others taken hostage.
Israel responded with massive airstrikes and a ground offensive.
During a ceasefire in November, 105 hostages were released in return for 240 Palestinian prisoners. It was only through military pressure that many of those hostages were released, Halevi said on Saturday.
According to the Hamas-controlled health authority, more than 23,000 people in the Gaza Strip have so far been killed by the Israeli military.
The Hamas leadership is pinning its hopes on a ceasefire “and is convinced that this moment is near,” said Halevi.
Halevi also addressed the fighting with Hezbollah in Lebanon. The group is allied with Hamas. (DPA)
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