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Gaza war will go on for months, Israel's military chief says

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Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza will likely go on for many months, the country's military chief said on Tuesday.

Israeli army Chief of Staff, Herzi Halevi listens to an officer as he visited soldiers during the ongoing ground operation of the Israeli army against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in a location given as Gaza, in this handout image released on November 16, 2023. Israel Defense Forces/Handout via Reuters

Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza will likely go on for many months, the country's military chief said on Tuesday.

"The war will go on for many months and we will employ different methods to maintain our achievements for a long time," Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi told reporters in a televised statement on the Gaza border.

"There are no magic solutions, there are no short cuts in dismantling a terrorist organization, only determined and persistent fighting," said Halevi. "We will reach Hamas' leadership too, whether it takes a week or if it takes months."

Israel vowed to annihilate Hamas after its fighters burst into Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and taking 240 hostages. Its air, sea and ground offensive in Gaza has since killed nearly 21,000 Palestinians, according to authorities.

"We said from its first moments that this would be a long war because it was right to set far-reaching goals and we will reach far, that's why the duration will be long." The duration, Halevi said, will allow the military to adapt its methods.

"Ultimately, will we be able to say that there is no enemy surrounding the state of Israel? I think that's too ambitious, but we will create a new security situation," said Halevi.

Reporting by Maayan Lubell; Editing by James Mackenzie, William Maclean

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