IDF Chief clarifies Israelis held captive by Hamas must come before Gaza rehabilitation

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said in a statement on Sunday that Israel must first resolve the issue of its captive citizens before any rehabilitation of the crisis in Gaza. Eisenkot added that efforts must be carried out to prevent a humanitarian collapse in the Gaza Strip, as is it may lead to a conflict with Hamas in 2018.
Gadi Eisenkot Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot on Sunday joined Israeli officials warning of the situation in Gaza and said that due to the current crisis the chances of a conflict with Hamas are growing. However, Eisenkot stressed that any rehabilitation must be contingent on resolving the issue of the missing Israelis in Gaza.

Eisenkot clarified that efforts must be carried out to prevent a humanitarian collapse in the Gaza Strip. The Chief of Staff added that the crisis may lead to a conflict with Hamas in 2018.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is not interested in a war with Hamas but will “do whatever is necessary” to defend itself.  Netanyahu also commended Eisenkot and said that he has full confidence in him and the IDF.

As previously reported by JOL, Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, reportedly believes war with Israel is likely to erupt within the next few days. According to the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat, Sinwar has ordered Hamas headquarters in Gaza evacuated and has declared the highest level of security alert.



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