IDF expects fighting to go on all year, is adjusting battle methods for sustained war

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

IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari gives a statement to the media in Tel Aviv on October 16, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)
IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari gives a statement to the media in Tel Aviv on October 16, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says the military is making adjustments to its deployment in the Gaza Strip, as it anticipates a long war against the Hamas terror group, stretching throughout the entire coming year.

“We are adjusting the fighting methods to each area in Gaza, as well as the necessary forces to carry out the mission in the best way possible. Each area has different characteristics and different operational needs,” he says.

“Tonight, 2024 will begin. The goals of the war require lengthy fighting, and we are prepared accordingly,” Hagari says.

He says the military will be carrying out “smart” management of the forces in Gaza, allowing reservists to return home to help bounce back the economy, and letting standing army troops train to become commanders.

“We are continuing the training of officers and commanders… after their experience in combat, they are returning to training and will join the army’s line of commanders when they finish,” Hagari says.

Hagari says “some of the reservists will return to their families and work this week.”

“It will result in considerable relief for the economy, and will allow them to gain strength for operations next year, and the fighting will continue and we will need them,” he says.

“These adjustments are aimed at ensuring the planning and preparations for 2024. The IDF needs to plan ahead, out of the understanding that we will be needed for additional missions and continued fighting during the entire coming year,” Hagri says.

In Gaza, Hagari says members of Hamas’s elite Nukhba force were killed by troops and others surrendered in the Khan Younis area today. He says some of them participated in the October 7 massacres.

Regarding claims by some ministers that ground troops are not being provided enough air support, Hagari says there has “never been such coordination in any campaign.”

“There isn’t one case where ground forces did not receive support from the air or extraction under fire,” he adds.

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