TEL AVIV, December 3. /TASS/. Israeli forces have proceeded to active combat operations in the southern part of the Gaza Strip as "strongly and thoroughly" as they did it in Gaza’s north, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said, citing Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi.
He noted that before the operative pause in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military partially destroyed two brigades of Palestinian radicals affiliated with Hamas and now "the 162nd Division is still working inside to secure our accomplishments" in the northern part of the enclave.
"Yesterday, and today, we eliminated [Hamas] brigade commanders, company commanders, many operatives, and yesterday morning we started the same process in the southern Gaza Strip, it will be with no less strength than that, it will be with no less results than that, and Hamas commanders will meet the IDF everywhere in a very, very strong way," he stressed.
He expressed conviction that the Israeli military will cope with their tasks. "We have the capabilities to do this in the most thorough way, and just as we did it strongly and thoroughly in the northern Gaza Strip, we are also doing it now in the southern Gaza Strip and we continue to secure our accomplishments in the northern Gaza Strip," he said.
Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7 after militants from the Gaza Strip-based radical Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise incursion on Israeli territory, killing many Israeli kibbutz residents living near the Gaza border and abducting more than 200 Israelis, including women, children and the elderly. Hamas described its attack as a response to Israeli authorities’ aggressive actions against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. Israel declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and launched bombardments of the enclave and some areas in Lebanon and Syria, as well as a ground operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Clashes are also reported in the West Bank.