THE Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visited the South of Israel on Thursday and met with soldiers serving on the Gaza border.

“We are first and foremost focused on … defeating Hamas,” he said, adding:

“I’ve been leading soldiers into combat for 45 years. I’m in charge of security. I’ve been responsible for that in the last two weeks – even in tough times, I’m responsible for winning [του Ισραήλ].”

He further noted that the IDF is preparing for a long-term engagement with Israel’s enemies, saying, “We are not talking about a short [στρατιωτική] campaign – we’re talking about a protracted campaign.”

He then touched on the Hezbollah threat on the border with Lebanon. “Hezbollah is trying to challenge the State of Israel and the IDF and has deployed forces in strong defensive formations. The power of all of Israel is at our disposal. We are on alert and if Hezbollah wants to start a war, it should first look the photos of Gaza City”.

Shortly after these statements were made public, a new barrage of rockets was fired into northern Israel. Sirens were heard in the towns of Even Menachem, Shomera, Abirim and Fassuta.