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Deepening Operation In Gaza Brings Israel Closer To 'Realistic Deal' On Hostages: Defense Chief

11.02.2024 14:42

Hamas is believed to be holding nearly 136 Israelis following its cross border attack on Oct. 7.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Sunday that "deepening" the military operation in Gaza brings Tel Aviv closer to reaching a "realistic agreement" to return hostages.

"This morning, we are hosting the IDF (Israeli army) Cabinet meeting, to show the ministers exactly how we are reaching and deepening our achievements and what we have found in Gaza," said Gallant in a televised speech broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Corporation showing, in the background, weapons and missiles that Gallant claimed were found by the Israeli army at Hamas sites in Gaza.

"You can see a small part of the things here, missiles, explosive devices, mines, a very large number of maps, means of communication, documents, and computers," he added.

"We penetrated into the heart of Hamas's most sensitive places, and used its intelligence against it," Gallant said, claiming: "We blew up their weapons in the field. All of this leads to penetrating the heart of Hamas' capabilities."

"The deeper we delve into this process, the closer we come to reaching a realistic agreement to return the hostages," the defense minister added.

Hamas is believed to be holding nearly 136 Israelis following its cross-border attack on Oct. 7.

There was no comment from Hamas on Gallant's statement.

Flouting the provisional ruling of the International Court of Justice, Israel continues its onslaught on the Gaza Strip where at least 28,176 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and 67,784 injured since Oct. 7, according to Palestinian health authorities.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by Hamas, which Tel Aviv says killed nearly 1,200 people.

The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza's population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Writing by Ikram Kouachi -

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