Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israel: Chief of Staff admits targeting senior officials to put pressure on Hamas in negotiations

March 21, 2024 at 10:14 am

Israeli army with large number of tanks, armored personnel carriers, military bulldozers and helicopters continue to attack from air and ground in Khan Yunis, Gaza on March 7, 2024. [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s Chief of Staff General Herzi Halevi has admitted that the occupation forces are targeting senior Hamas officials in Gaza in order to put pressure on the resistance movement in negotiations. Halevi made his comment while visiting Israeli troops in Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, stressing that they are achieving “good” results.

The chief of staff assessed the security situation from within the medical complex as part of a field tour during which he inspected the Golani Brigade forces in the northern Gaza Strip, along with the Chief of the Southern Command, Yaron Finkelman; the Commander of the 162nd Division, Itzik Cohen; and the Commander of the Shayetet 13 unit, an elite unit of naval commandos.

“So far the results are good, but we’re aiming for the senior officials,” said Halevi, “Marwan Issa, the arrest of senior officials, this is very, very important to put pressure on Hamas, it is very important to put pressure on the negotiations as well.”

READ: Israel opposes Qatar’s participation in building, operating Gaza pier

Two weeks ago, the occupation army announced the killing of Issa, as well as a series of arrests that included senior officials such as Mohammad Al-Qawasmi and Khaled Al-Batsh, although the latter’s arrest has not been confirmed.

Halevi said that the occupation army is causing “severe damage to Hamas, dismantling Hamas, killing the military leadership, damage to the civilian leadership, damage to the operatives. We came here to arrest many operatives, with an emphasis on senior officials, and kill those who fight. We prefer detainees, they are important cards, [for] investigations.”

Three days ago, the Israeli army announced that it was carrying out a “precise operation” in the Shifa Medical Complex “based on intelligence that indicated the hospital was being used by senior Hamas leaders.”

READ: Deaths and injuries reported as Israel targets Al-Shifa Hospital