About Israel’s ground operations in Gaza, as well as Iran’s role in the Middle East flare-up, Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the Israeli army, spoke exclusively to SKAI
About Israel’s ground operations in Gaza, as well as Iran’s role in the ignition in the Middle East, he spoke exclusively to SKAI and Elli Kasoli, Jonathan Conricus, representative of the Israeli army while referring to Turkey, he spoke of Erdoğan’s vulgar comments.
The interview in detail:
QUESTION: The Israeli military has announced that this is the second phase of the war and you are inside Gaza. At the same time you said that this is only the beginning. What’s next?
ANSWER: We are currently fighting Hamas inside Gaza. We are hitting their military positions. We have troops inside Gaza fighting them. Hand-to-hand combat, in buildings and tunnels and on the ground. We continue to strike Hamas from the air. We continue to hunt down their commanders and seek out and strike Hamas targets wherever they are in the Gaza Strip. The goal of our war is to completely dismantle Hamas so that nothing is left that can pose a threat to Israeli civilians again, as happened on October 7. We want to create a better situation for the future, for us and for the Gaza Strip. The next stage or this stage of business will be long. It will take time. This is combat in urban terrain, which all soldiers expect to be difficult and likely to cause heavy casualties. Our ambition is to do it as professionally, targeted and safely as possible. Hopefully, in a short period of time, we will be able to defeat Hamas and return security to southern Israel.
QUESTION: So will there be a third phase? A massive ground attack?
ANSWER: There will likely be a third and perhaps a fourth phase that we will see as the war unfolds. I think the definition of stages is less important. What is more important is the overall goal, which is to dismantle Hamas and all other terrorist organizations currently operating, and we believe that we will increase the scope of our operations.
QUESTION: We know that Hamas is hiding in the tunnels of Gaza. Do you have a special plan to draw them out or fight them, even on the streets?
ANSWER: Hamas has been in control of Gaza since 2007. And what they have specifically been doing for the last 5 to 7 years is building a complete city under a city, a city under Gaza, a system of tunnels that communicate with each other. . And from here Hamas operates. This is where they live, and this is where they would rather fight. It’s a very complex environment for us, tactically, and we don’t intend to fight under the enemy’s conditions. We have tactical solutions and just as Hamas will try to surprise us on the battlefield, so we will try to surprise them and ultimately, come out victorious. One thing I want to say is that all of Hamas’ tactics are based on the fact that they use the unfortunate Palestinian civilian population as their human shields. All tunnels are under civilians. They shoot between buildings. They are using schools, hospitals, mosques and clinics and churches for their struggle, which is very unfortunate. And what they are doing is a war crime.
QUESTION: On the northern front we see continuous attacks by Hezbollah. Do you have a message for them? And what is Iran’s role?
ANSWER: Iran is behind all of this. None of this would have happened without Iranian ideas, money, weapons and political guidance and support. Hezbollah, which is by far Iran’s biggest and most dangerous proxy that threatens Israel, has been firing rockets, missiles, drones and many other things against Israel in recent weeks. Unfortunately, we have suffered civilian and military casualties, but we have also managed to make Hezbollah pay a pretty significant price already. So far, we have only been defending ourselves and we don’t want our focus to shift away from Gaza. We are focusing on Gaza and hope that Lebanon will understand that it is not in their interest to attack Israel and allow Hezbollah to drag them into war.
QUESTION: Turkey accuses Israel of war crimes. President Erdogan has said that attacks on Gaza are tantamount to genocide. It characterizes Hamas as a liberation organization. What is your answer to this?
ANSWER: I think these are very vulgar and baseless comments from a country that I believe should not be lecturing anyone on the morals or laws of armed conflict based on what they have done in their history against ethnic minorities and other groups , but also how they participated in atrocities in Syria as well. So I don’t think they should be giving hints to anyone. Whoever is speaking on behalf of Hamas today, I think is on the wrong side of history, should be ashamed of themselves and should really reconsider their alliances because that side is going to lose, and it’s also the side of darkness.
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