Israel's military operation against Hamas in Gaza is set to continue for an extended period, as indicated by recent statements from Israeli military leaders. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff, Herzi Halevi, in a news briefing on Tuesday, outlined the complexities of the ongoing conflict.
Halevi emphasized that due to the intricate nature of the battleground, the operation would persist for "many more months." He stressed the IDF's commitment to a persistent and determined fight against Hamas, underscoring the lack of quick solutions in dismantling a terrorist organization.
“There are no magic solutions or shortcuts in the fundamental dismantling of a terrorist organization, except persistent and determined fighting, and we are very, very determined,” he said. "We will also get to the Hamas leadership, whether it takes a week or months."He revealed that the IDF was nearing its goal of dismantling Hamas in northern Gaza and was shifting focus to the southern part of the Strip, including areas like Khan Younis.
“Currently, we are concentrating our efforts in the southern Gaza Strip — Khan Younis, the central camps, and further. We will continue to both preserve and intensify our achievements in northern Gaza,” he said.
International Response and Calls for a Ceasefire
The announcement of an intensified and prolonged military campaign in Gaza has elicited serious concerns from the international community. France, in particular, expressed grave worries regarding the escalating situation.
The French Foreign Ministry, in a statement on Tuesday, called for an immediate truce leading to a ceasefire. The ministry highlighted the numerous civilian casualties resulting from systematic bombings in recent days, urging Israel to take concrete steps to protect civilians in Gaza.
The French stance echoes a broader sentiment within the international community about the protection of civilian lives during military operations. French President Emmanuel Macron, in a recent interview, emphasized that combating terrorist groups should not equate to indiscriminate attacks on civilians or causing civilian casualties.
"We can’t let the idea be accepted that fighting terrorism effectively would mean flattening Gaza," Macron stated, advocating for a more measured approach in military engagements.