Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Galant announced on Friday that his country will continue the war with full military force after the humanitarian truce in Gaza.
After his meeting with his Italian counterpart, Guido Crosetto, at the headquarters of the Israeli Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv, Galant confirmed: “There will be a short pause, and after that we will continue to work with full military force.”
Galant added: “We will not stop until we achieve our goals: destroying Hamas and returning the hostages from Gaza to Israel. There are 240 hostages, and this is something we cannot accept nor tolerate.”
Regarding the northern border area with Lebanon, Gallant asserted: “We have no interest in war, but we must deter our enemies,” as reported by the Israeli defence minister’s office in a written statement, a copy of which reached Anadolu Agency.
He added: “We cannot return to the reality of Oct. 6. We were brutally attacked by Hamas, then we were attacked by Hezbollah. We will not tolerate threats directed at our citizens.”
On 7 October, Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Gaza launched a military operation called Al-Aqsa Flood in response to: “The continuing attacks by Israeli forces and settlers against the Palestinian people, their property, and their sanctities, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.”
In the attack, Hamas killed 1,200 Israelis and wounded 5,431, according to Israeli sources. It also captured about 239 Israelis, including high-ranking military personnel, and wants to exchange them with more than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners, including children and women, in Israeli prisons.
In response, the Israeli army launched a devastating attack on Gaza, leaving 14,854 Palestinian martyrs, including 6,150 children and more than 4,000 women, as well as more than 36,000 injured, more than 75 per cent of whom are children and women, according to the government media office in Gaza.
On Friday, a four-day humanitarian truce began in the Gaza Strip. On the first day, both sides started by releasing 13 Israelis from Gaza through the Rafah Crossing, with Israel simultaneously releasing 39 Palestinians from Israeli prisons.
The prisoners will be released in batches over a period of four days, including 50 Israelis and 150 Palestinians, all of whom are women and children from both sides.
Israel also stopped its attacks in Gaza while allowing the entry of dozens of trucks carrying food and fuel.
The agreement, brokered by Qatar and Egypt, includes the possibility of extending the humanitarian truce for additional days if more Israeli prisoners are released.