Israeli military chief announces expansion of operations in Gaza

Tel Aviv, Nov 17, (dpa/GNA) – Israeli Chief of General Staff, Herzi Halevi, has announced an expansion of military operations in the Gaza Strip “to other areas.

“We are close to dismantling the military system in the northern Gaza Strip. As far as we are concerned, we will continue to other areas,” Halevi said on Friday, during a visit to troops in Gaza.

“While there remains work to be completed, we are approaching it successfully,” he said.

Commanders of the militant Palestinian organization Hamas, must be “systematically” eliminated, and its infrastructure destroyed. To this end, more and more regions will be targeted, he added.

So far, Israel’s ground troops have focussed on the northern part of the Gaza Strip in recent weeks. However, experts are predicting a possible expansion of operations in the south as well, where there have already been repeated airstrikes.

A possible ground offensive would further exacerbate the already devastating humanitarian situation. According to the United Nations, almost 1.6 million of the coastal region’s 2.2 million inhabitants have been displaced, as a result of the fighting.

The majority of the displaced people are in the south of the coastal region, after Israel’s military called on civilians to evacuate the north.