THE Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army Lieutenant General Herchi Halevi states that troops they operate inside Gaza City and surround it from various directions as reported by The Times of Israel.

“We have advanced to another important stage in the war. The forces are in the heart of northern Gaza, operating in Gaza Citysurround and deepen it [την επίγεια επίθεση] and accomplishments,” Halevi said in a statement from the Air Force base.

“The forces are fighting in a dense and complex urban areawhich requires professional combat and courage”says.

Says that troops engage in close combat. “The ground forces are accompanied by accurate information, with fire from the air and sea. This cooperation makes the battle much more effective,” Halevi continues.

“Our warriors, fighting at close range against a tough enemy, have a huge advantage: The camaraderie and fighting spirit run through their veins,” he says. “The spirit of Israeli society and the justice of our cause accompany us at all times.”

Halevi says that this war has taken “a painful and difficult price”, with 18 soldiers killed in the ground operation so far. “We lost the best of our sons in war, we embrace their families…we will keep winning.”

He states that the IDF has an “obligation” to repatriate all hostages held by Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.

It reports that the Israeli Air Force is operating in Gaza “with considerable force.” But he stresses that “less than half” of the IAF’s strength is used in Gaza. Most of his force is ready, loaded with bombs, “in case the need arises to attack on other fronts.”

He says the army is fighting “in the name of the sanctity of life, against an enemy who has death emblazoned on his flag. We are fighting for our right to live safely and prosper in our homeland.”

“We have no other country facing absolute evil. We act with composure, intelligence and determination,” he says.