Israel also said hundreds of Hamas operatives had been arrested since the end of the ceasefire.

Jerusalem:

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has stated that the war against Hamas in Gaza will end once Israel achieves its goals, the Times of Israel reported. He said Hamas’s Jabaliya and Shejaiya battalions in the northern Gaza Strip were “on the verge of dissolution.”

At a press conference, Gallant said: “The war will end when its objectives are achieved. I take into account everything the United States asks and says, and, along with all members of the Cabinet, I take what America does seriously.”

He continued: “We will find a way to help the Americans to help us.”

When asked about a possible new hostage deal with Hamas, Gallant said he believes there will be more hostage deal offers as Israel increases military pressure, The Times of Israel reported.

He said: “I believe that if we increase military pressure there will be offers for further hostage-taking deals and if there are offers we will consider them.”

Gallant said Israeli troops had surrounded Hamas’ last strongholds in Jabaliya and Shejaiya. He explained that hundreds of Hamas operatives had surrendered to Israeli troops in recent days, which he said “shows what is happening to the terrorist group.”

He said: “We have encircled the last Hamas strongholds in Jabaliya and Shejaiya. The battalions that were considered invincible and had been preparing for years to fight us are on the verge of disbanding.”

Gallant said, “Whoever surrenders, his life will be spared,” adding that those arrested by the IDF included terrorists involved in the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israeli communities. He added: “They tell us very interesting things.”

He even warned Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, saying that his fate and that of “every other senior Hamas commander, as well as the fate of…” [low-ranking] Terrorist is the same: surrender or die. “There is no third option,” the Times of Israel report said.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Defense Forces and Shin Bet announced that they arrested more than 500 terrorists in the Gaza Strip last month. The IDF Military Intelligence Branch 504 and the Security Service took these terrorists away for interrogation.

According to the joint statement, more than 140 of the activists have been arrested since the ceasefire ended on December 1. The IDF said: “The activists were arrested by IDF troops during fighting in recent days. Some of them voluntarily surrendered and were captured by the interrogators on site… for further investigation.”

The IDF said some of the militants were arrested while hiding in civilian buildings, including schools and shelters for civilians, The Times of Israel reported.

Earlier on Monday, the IDF announced the deaths of seven more soldiers, bringing the number of soldiers killed in Israel’s ground offensive against Hamas to 104. Six of those deceased soldiers were killed in fighting in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Source : www.ndtv.com

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