IDF chief of staff ‘approved plans’ in north, warns of readiness to attack
IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi gives a statement to the media at an army base in southern Israel on Dec. 26, 2023. (Photo: Flash90)

Meanwhile, the Israeli military is gaining valuable intelligence from security cameras in Hamas’s tunnels as part of its pursuit of the terror group’s leadership, its spokesman says.

By Andrew Lappin
December 27, 2023

(JNS) — Israel Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi approved operational plans on Wednesday at the military’s Northern Command, which has responsibility for the Lebanese border, and warned of the need to “be ready to attack if required.”

Halevi made the comments after holding a situation assessment together with the Commander of the Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Ori Gordin, and other commanders, the IDF said.

“Our first task is to return residents securely, and it will take time. We approved today a variety of plans for continuation, and we need to be ready to attack, if required. The IDF and within it, the Northern Command, are in very high readiness. So far, the campaign is managed correctly and meticulously, and it should continue as such. We will not return the residents without security and a sense of security,” said Halevi.

IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari stated on Wednesday that in the north, the military has been responding to Hezbollah to thwarting attacks and destroying Hezbollah’s infrastructure along the Israeli-Lebanese border.

He added that more than 150 terrorists have been killed by the IDF in Lebanon since Oct. 8, when the Iranian-backed terror army began firing on Israel, and that 129 of these were Hezbollah members.

“We fire on every squad trying to infiltrate or fire,” he said. “We have to distance Hezbollah from border to let residents have security, and the sense of security, to come back.”

In Gaza, the IDF fighting against Hamas in number of focal points, including central Gaza’s Al-Bureij area, where the IDF is in its third day of attack and where it has killed many terrorists, Hagari said.

A second focal point is Khan Yunis, where the IDF has inserted a new brigade and is intensifying operations against this southern Gaza Hamas stronghold.

“We are using new combat techniques over and underground. We are exposing infrastructure and killing terrorists,” Hagari said.

Also in southern Gaza, the IDF began a new operation in Khirbat Ikhza’a, from where terrorists headed out to Kibbutz Nir Oz on Oct. 7 as part of the mass murders and kidnappings.

In northern Gaza, Hagari said, the IDF completed operations at Rantisi Hospital, where for the past month the IDF killed terrorists, as well as sustained casualties, as it located and dismantled a major underground tunnel network, including three shafts, one of them in a school, Hagari said. “It included blast doors, intelligence material we recovered, weapons and hideouts. It takes time. This is one of the main Hamas capabilities, underground infrastructure for terrorism,” he added.

Asked about the mission of reaching Hamas military chief Muhammad Deif, Hagari replied: “We have to find him and kill him; it’ll take as long as it takes. We found lots of intelligence; there are rooms with security cameras and drives in northern Gaza. We took them apart with the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] and Military Intelligence. We are producing all sorts of intelligent products; with these, we hope to reach higher achievements against Hamas.”

IDF at Gaza Border Fence
Israeli soldiers take position near the border fence with the Gaza Strip on Dec. 27, 2023. (Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Iran vows retribution for death of IRGC leader

Also on Wednesday, Iran repeated warnings to Israel that it will “pay the price” after allegedly killing a top Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander in Syria on Monday.

Brig. Gen. Sayyed Razi Mousavi was killed in an airstrike in the Damascus area. He was in charge of smuggling arms from Iran to Syria, as well as to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The IRGC said in a statement that “the usurper and savage Zionist regime will pay for this crime,” according to Reuters.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that Israel would “certainly pay the price” for Mousavi’s death, calling it “a sign of the Zionist regime’s frustration and weakness in the region,” the report said.

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