THE Israel’s National Security Adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi speaking in Tel Aviv, he said that the first stage of the war, limiting the Hamas offensive and clearing southern Israel of terrorists, was over, as was the second stage, striking all enemy systems with precision from the air, land and the sea is broadcast by The times of Israel.

The third and ongoing stage is the ground operation in the northern Gaza Strip.

“It is a difficult campaign and requires intense fighting. There is no battle without a painful price. We are a fighting nation, despite the pain. We are determined to win, despite the pain,” he said.

Hanegbi says the primary goal of the war is the return of the hostages. “This is our sacred responsibility as a nation, to our soldiers and to our citizens.”

He insists the ground operation will help free the hostages.

Hanegbi says the entire conceptual framework by which Israel viewed its security until October 7 “disappeared.”

“There is no more ‘operation’, no more amorphous objectives such as ‘strengthening deterrence’, ‘gaining honor’, ‘striking infrastructure’… The massacre on 7 October shattered the illusion that we were facing an enemy that did not would risk its total destruction.”

Hamas sees Gazans as “human dust that offers them protection,” Hanegbi said.

Hamas must “cease to exist,” says Hanegbi, and that is the IDF’s mission.
“Monstrous terrorist organizations will never be allowed to rule the Gaza Strip again,” he said.

Hanegbi also said that the steady support of the US is a huge asset and allows Israel to “wage an unprecedentedly strong campaign” against Hamas.

In order to maintain that support, Hanegbi says, “it is our responsibility to distinguish between killers and civilian bystanders, to encourage the civilian population in the northern Gaza Strip to be placed in safe areas in the south, to allow foreign aid forces to provide food, water and medicine to all who hear our call and are in the south today, and to call for life-saving medical care to all who need it, but not to the hospitals that are now operating as terrorist headquarters, for the command and control of Hamas and of PIJ, but in Egyptian hospitals, in the protected area or on hospital ships”.

He noted that such foreign medical ships are on their way to the Gaza coast.