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Israeli army pushing Netanyahu to green light Gaza ground operation: Local media

October 23, 2023 at 7:43 pm

Israeli soldiers patrol near the Gaza border as the clash between Israeli army and Palestinian factions continues in Nir Oz, Israel on October 19, 2023 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli army is pressuring Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to green light a ground invasion in the Gaza Strip, Haaretz daily reported Monday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Army officials believe that it is “necessary” to launch a ground operation in Gaza to achieve the Israeli goals from the war, even “at the expense of losing many soldiers,” the daily said.

“The government has ordered the IDF [army] to destroy Hamas’ military and governmental capabilities and to create a new security reality in Gaza,” Haaretz said.

The Israeli military views Netanyahu’s hesitancy to launch a ground attack as a lack of trust in the army’s ability to achieve the goals of the Gaza conflict set by the government, the newspaper said.

In an attempt to ease tension between the political and military establishments, Netanyahu, Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, and Army chief, Herzl Halevi, said in a joint statement that they are working “in close and full cooperation” and urged the media to “avoid false publications”.

READ: Israel soldiers force Palestine farmers off their land at gunpoint

Earlier Monday, Israeli Army Radio said Tel Aviv has decided to delay the Gaza ground operation pending the arrival of additional US forces to the region.

The conflict in Gaza, which has been under Israeli bombardment and a blockade since 7 October, began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air. It said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

Nearly 6,500 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 5,087 Palestinians and more than 1,400 Israelis.