ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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IDF chief says troops making progress in Gaza, only military pressure will bring hostages home

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi (left) meets with the chief of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman in northern Gaza, Feburary 6, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi (left) meets with the chief of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman in northern Gaza, Feburary 6, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

During a visit to the northern Gaza Strip yesterday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi repeats the assessment that only military pressure on Hamas will bring about the release of the hostages held by the terror group.

“Today we are on day 122, but we are making progress, we are not standing still. When we talked about dismantling Hamas, we didn’t think it would be in a week, we didn’t think it would be in a month, it’s peeling back layers,” Halevi says during an assessment.

He says the IDF’s new raids in northern Gaza result in “more dead terrorists, more dead commanders, more destroyed infrastructure.”

“I hope that this pressure also brings us to achieve one more important goal, returning the hostages,” Halevi says.

“It won’t happen without military pressure, let’s not fool ourselves, that’s why across the entire Strip we are applying pressure with fire, with a [ground] maneuver, with surprise raids, and we will continue to do it in a very, very high-quality way,” he adds.

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