Israeli troops are already operating in the “heart” of Gaza City, which is the base of the Palestinian radical movement Hamas, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant said on Tuesday, according to press agencies. According to the minister, Hamas leader Jahjá Sinvár is isolated in his bunker.
Galant said in a televised statement that Israeli army ground forces attacked terrorist strongholds in Gaza “from all directions, in perfect coordination with naval and air forces” and were “tightening the noose” around the city. According to the minister, the leader of Hamas Sinvár is hiding in his bunker, has no contact with his colleagues and will be eliminated, The Times of Israel reported.
Galant reiterated that Israel makes any humanitarian pause in the fighting in the Gaza Strip conditional on the release of all hostages taken by Hamas after the October 7 attack on Israel. According to him, despite pressure to declare a ceasefire, the army cannot let up in fighting until the complete defeat of Hamas and the return of all hostages.
In the Gaza Strip, which he described as “the largest terrorist base ever built by mankind”, neither Israel nor the Hamas movement will rule after the end of the current war, the defense minister added. However, he did not provide details on the future arrangement of the area.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in talks with soldiers on Tuesday that the army’s advance in the Gaza Strip was a “phenomenal success” and reiterated that Israel would continue fighting until the very end, according to the Haaretz newspaper.
Israel launched a major military operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip after the movement’s gunmen killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, in an attack on Saturday, October 7, in southern Israel. Another 240 or so people were taken to the Gaza Strip as hostages. At least 10,328 people have died in retaliatory Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip, AFP reported on Tuesday, citing the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry.