Israeli military spokesperson Jonathan Conricus stated that the Israeli army will enter a new phase in their operation following the cessation of combat in the northern Gaza Strip against Hamas
“The next stage of the fighting will be to finish up what is left of Hamas in northern Gaza, which isn’t easy business, it shouldn’t be looked as if we’re brushing aside. There is still significant fighting ongoing in northern Gaza. But that will be finished hopefully sooner rather than later, and, hopefully, without additional Israeli casualties,” Conricus said in an interview with nonprofit Israel education organization StandWithUs.
“Once that is done, then, of course, we will have to go on to the next stage of fighting because the overall aim is to dismantle all of Hamas infrastructure. We never limited ourselves to any geographical area, we simply said that we are going to fight first in the northern part of Gaza,” he added.
The military spokesman stated: “The overall aim of the war remains the same: we are going to return security to Israel by dismantling all Hamas military infrastructure, by killing their seniors, by either having them surrender or die inside their tunnels. It’s very simple.”
“I won’t get ahead of ourselves, I won’t say when and where and what we’re going to do, but the aim of the operation remains the same. The IDF is very focused on getting that done. The Chief of Staff Lieutenant General [Herzl] Halevi approved plans today for the next stage of operations. The IDF is ready, capable and eager to continue to implement our mission,” Conricus added.
Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant had said the Israeli army was continuing to hit Palestinian militant group Hamas hard in the Gaza Strip and will also operate “soon” in the south of Gaza.
“We are in the second stage of the ground invasion, also operating in the east of the Strip… Hamas has been hit hard, it’s losing tunnels, bunkers, posts,” and many of its senior commanders have been killed, Gallant said as cited by the Times of Israel.
He warned Hamas members hiding in the south of the Strip where the Israeli army has yet to send in ground troops, “will feel this soon.”
Overall, Palestinian authorities have announced that the death toll due to Israeli aggression has exceeded 12,200, including about 5,000 children, 3,250 women, and 690 elderly people, while the number of injured reached more than 29,500, and more than 4,000 are still missing, including 2,000 children, according to the Palestinian ministry of health.
Additionally, Israeli warplanes launched a series of violent airstrikes against various areas in the northern besieged Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA. The shelling targeted several areas in the Jabalia refugee camp, civilian homes in Beit Lahia, the vicinity of residential towers in Gaza’s Sheikh Zayed City, and the vicinity of the Indonesian hospital.
WAFA also reported that 205 health personnel and 36 civil defense personnel were killed, along with more than 215 wounded health workers. More than 60 ambulances were attacked, 55 of which were damaged and put out of service, while 26 of 35 hospitals in Gaza, and 52 of 72 primary healthcare clinics were out of service due to damage resulting from the bombing or lack of fuel.