IDF Spokesman Outlines Terms for Ceasing Military Action as Defense Minister Estimates Possible Duration
Israel has declared that it will refrain from conducting a ground operation in Gaza if the militant group Hamas surrenders “unconditionally” and releases all hostages, according to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus. The announcement comes as tensions escalate in the region, with Israel amassing forces and contemplating a significant offensive.
In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Monday, Conricus emphasized that if Hamas complies with the specified conditions, Israel would not initiate a ground offensive. He underscored Israel’s preference for relying on airstrikes to avoid unnecessary risks to its troops. However, Conricus warned that if the militant group fails to meet the conditions, Israel will likely proceed with a ground operation.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, speaking at the Israeli Air Force’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, asserted that any ground maneuver in Gaza should be the last, emphasizing the intention to eliminate Hamas entirely. Gallant suggested that the offensive, if executed, could extend up to three months.
Since the surprise attack by Hamas on October 7, Israel has mobilized significant forces, calling up 360,000 reservists and conducting extensive airstrikes on Gaza. Despite the escalation, a final decision to enter Gaza has not been issued.
Amidst the developments, there were reports that the US government and certain European allies were urging Israel to postpone its ground attack to facilitate negotiations for the release of additional hostages held by Hamas. The situation remains complex, with conflicting statements from various sources.
As of now, the region is on edge, with thousands reported dead and injured due to the recent escalation in hostilities between Israel and Hamas. The international community closely watches the evolving situation, seeking a resolution to the crisis.
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