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    Israel’s defense minister gives more details on plans for Gaza
    • October 20, 2023

    By Alisa Odenheimer, Bloomberg News

    Israel’s defense minister gave more details about the country’s military plans for Gaza on Friday, implying it has no intention of running the territory after its operations wind down.

    Israel aims to disentangle itself from Gaza and to create a “new security reality” in the region, Yoav Gallant said to the parliamentary foreign affairs and defense committee in Tel Aviv.

    It’s unclear from his comments who Israel expects to run Gaza if and when the military achieves its aim of wiping out Hamas, the Iran-backed terrorist group that killed around 1,400 Israelis during an attack on Oct. 7. Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada and the European Union.

    Israel has launched mass airstrikes on Gaza, which is now ruled by Hamas, since then and is widely expected to launch a ground invasion. Thousands of Palestinians have been killed.

    The objectives of the campaign include destroying Hamas’s military and governing capabilities, Gallant said, as well as the complete removal of Israeli responsibility for the Gaza Strip.

    “There will be three stages,” the defense minister said. “We are now in the first stage – a military campaign that currently includes strikes, and will later include maneuvering, with the objective of neutralizing terrorists and destroying Hamas infrastructure.”

    The second phase will involve operations at a lower intensity, with the objective of eliminating “pockets of resistance,” he said. The final stage will “require the removal of Israel’s responsibility for life in the Gaza strip.”

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