Israeli Chief of Staff: We won’t reach an agreement on Gaza and the release of the kidnapped except by using strong military pressure on Hamas


Israeli Chief of Staff Herzi Halevy said on Wednesday that reaching an agreement on the return of his citizens detained in the Gaza Strip is “a supreme mission that won’t be achieved except with stronger military pressure on the Hamas movement”.

This came in a televised statement by Halevy, on Wednesday, in the city of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, where he conducted an assessment of the situation with the commander of the Southern Command, Yaron Finkelman, and the leadership of the Israeli forces operating in Gaza, according to an army statement.

Halevy said during his speech, “We left Shifa Hospital on Sunday, and you are still here… We’re also pressing to deepen the achievement, and we are also pressing to try to bring about a shift in the negotiations, and to reach an agreement on the release of the abductees, and this is a high and very important mission”.

On Monday, the Israeli army announced its withdrawal from the Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza City after a two-week military operation, leaving behind massive destruction and dozens of bodies.

Halevy indicated that the agreement to return the detainees “will only come through stronger pressure, and we will press more forcefully, whenever necessary”.

Halevy told his soldiers, “We’ll press harder; You’re doing it wonderfully… You’re dismantling another Hamas battalion, killing another leader, and destroying another infrastructure… This is the way to press for the eventual release of the kidnapped people”.

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