(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, extended an olive branch of sorts Palestinians in a Saturday press conference, inviting them to help end recent hostilities by overthrowing their terrorist government.
Gallant said that the shortest pathway to peace was for residents of Gaza to help kill Hamas leaders, the Times of Israel reported.
“We will get to [Hamas Gaza chief] Yahya Sinwar and eliminate him,” Gallant said. “If the residents of Gaza get there ahead of us, that will shorten the war.”
In fact, the only way for the war to end altogether is to give Israel “absolute freedom” to deal with security threats in Gaza.
Gallant made the statement at the end of a two-day visit with reserve soldiers near the front lines, suggesting that they are prepared to “fight until victory.”
“Israel must complete the mission,” he reportedly told soldiers.
He said the Israeli Defense Forces were “determined” to wipe out Hamas in the wake of the Oct. 7 massacre that killed some 1,300 innocent civilians—many of them raped and tortured. Hamas terroriss also took between 200 and 250 hostages back to Gaza and has yet to release them.
The surprise attack effectively broke a two-year ceasefire between the oft-warring regions and convinced Israel’s government that it could no longer allow its neighboring territory to be ruled by an organization willing and able to plot such atrocities in secret while publicly pretending to pursue peaceful coexistence.
The IDF is currently undertaking an all-out assault on Gaza City from both north and south. Hamas claims that the assault has cost the lives of more than 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza, although it does not distinguish between enemy combatants and civilians being used as human shields.
“At the end of the war, there will be no more Hamas in Gaza,” Gallant said. “There will be no more security threat from Gaza on Israel, and Israel will have absolute freedom to take whatever security action it seeks against anyone who raises his head in Gaza [to threaten Israel].”
Gallant was echoing statements made previously by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who promised soon after Hamas’s initial attack to “change the Middle East,” noting that “this is only the beginning.”
In an apparent commitment to all-out warfare, the prime minister added that what Israel does to its enemies in the coming days “will echo for generations.”