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Israeli army chief approves plans for ‘continuation of war’ in Gaza

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published April 21,2024

Despite growing global outrage over the continuing offensive on Gaza, the Israeli army chief has approved plans for "continuation of the war" in the Gaza Strip, according to an official statement.

Israeli Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi "approved plans to continue operations in the southern front (Gaza)," army spokesperson Daniel Hagari told a news conference at Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv.

He added that "preparations are being made for the next steps of the war in the Gaza Strip," despite international calls for a cease-fire.

"We completed another operation in the middle of the Gaza Strip against Hamas this week to destroy its infrastructure," he said.

"There are always forces operating inside Gaza, along with additional forces preparing for the next steps in the war," he said.

He continued: "There is no change in the directives of the home front command. If there are any changes, we will give an update immediately with responsibility and transparency."

The army spokesperson's statements came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to increase "political and military pressure on Hamas" to reach a hostage swap deal.

This comes amid ongoing Israeli threats to invade the city of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, despite international and UN warnings against entering the city, which is considered the last refuge for displaced people in the strip.

Israel has carried out a relentless offensive on the Gaza Strip following an Hamas attack last Oct. 7 that killed some 1,200 people.

Over 34,000 people have since been killed and around 77,000 others injured amid mass destruction and severe shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.