Israel Ready to Launch Ground Operation in Gaza Strip: IDF Spokesman
© AFP 2023 MENAHEM KAHANAIsraeli military vehicles
© AFP 2023 MENAHEM KAHANA
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Earlier in the day, US President Joe Biden told reporters that he wants Israel to delay its ground invasion of the Gaza Strip until hostages held by Hamas militants are released.
Israel is ready to move on to the ground operation in the Gaza Strip, which will continue without a fixed schedule until its objectives are achieved, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Avichay Adraee told Sputnik on Saturday.
"Israel is ready and alert to enter the next phase of the war, which is a ground maneuver, and Israel will take this step at a time of its own choosing ... The operation will continue without any fixed schedules until its objectives are achieved, namely the dismantling of Hamas' military-political system, strike and elimination of its commanders and those responsible for the terrorist attack on October 7," Adraee said.
Israel is not ruling out the possibility that the release of hostages captured by Palestinian movement Hamas would be achieved by military means, the spokesman added.
"There are hostages of different nationalities, there are also those killed from 42 countries, seven kidnapped or missing from Russia, and information about 21 killed Russian citizens is officially confirmed by Israel ... I believe there are eight [hostages] from the US, seven from Germany, seven from Argentina," Adraee said.
The spokesman also told Sputnik that Israel did not have clear proof of Iran's alleged direct involvement in the October 7 attack by Hamas, but there was information about Tehran's alleged support of the Palestinian movement.
The IDF is prepared for any developments, including the escalation of the conflict with Lebanon's Hezbollah movement, and holds the Lebanese government responsible for everything that happens on its territory, Adraee said.