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IDF Has Killed or Wounded 60% of Hamas Terrorists in Gaza, Israeli Defense Chief Says

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Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant attends a joint press conference with German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (not pictured) in Berlin, Germany, Sept. 28, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has killed or wounded 60 percent of Hamas fighters during its ongoing military campaign against the Palestinian terrorist group in Gaza, according to Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Speaking on Wednesday to lawmakers at the Knesset, the name of Israel’s parliament, Gallant also revealed that Israeli forces have eliminated most of Hamas’ 24 battalions.

“The action of the IDF that has so far led to the elimination of over 14,000 terrorists and the collapse of the military frameworks of Hamas is, in fact, the testimony of what I am saying,” he said. “Everything will be done in accordance with the law and in accordance with the operational need.”

Gallant also described how anyone who participated in Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel will be held accountable.

“There is no refuge and no safe place for those who took part in the massacre against Israeli citizens; we will bring him to justice,” he said. “Eventually, we will reach them all.”

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists launched the ongoing war on Oct. 7 by invading southern Israel, murdering 1,200 people, and kidnapping about 250 others as hostages. Mounting evidence has revealed that the terrorists also systematically perpetrated rampant sexual violence, including gang-rape and torture, against the Israeli people during the onslaught.

Israel responded with a military campaign in neighboring Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas, aimed at freeing the hostages and dismantling the terrorist group’s military and governing capabilities.

“There are only two options for these people: prison or the graveyard,” Gallant said of those involved in the Oct. 7 atrocities, according to Israeli media reports.

“IDF soldiers have been working tirelessly for nine months in the most just war we have known throughout our existence,” the defense chief added. “IDF soldiers fought courageously and stopped them during the first days, and then moved the war to enemy territory with a powerful attack.”

However, Gallant noted the importance of maintaining international support during the war.

“We have returned half of the hostages and we are determined to return the rest,” he said. “The security establishment is determined to achieve the goals of the war. In order for us to be able to do these things, it is appropriate that we preserve our support on the battlefield.”

Beyond answering questions from Israeli lawmakers, Gallant also met with US Middle East envoy Brett McGurk.

“The two discussed the importance of seizing the opportunity created to achieve an agreement for the return of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza,” the defense ministry said in a statement about the meeting, which took place on Tuesday evening.

“They discussed the challenges that remain in achieving such an agreement, as well as possible solutions to address them,” the ministry said.

According to the statement, Gallant also said that while Israel supports the opening of the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, the Jewish state will not tolerate the return of Hamas to the area.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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