Photo Credit: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90; Ariel Hermoni/IMoD
DM Gallant with IDF commanders on the ground in Gaza (R) vs. MK Amit Halevi.

Likud MK Amit Halevi who is a member of the Knesset Foreign and Security Committee, on Thursday posted a lengthy tweet essentially accusing Defense Minister Yoav Gallant of lying about the state of the war in Gaza.

On Wednesday, Gallant visited the headquarters of the 162nd Division which is operating in the Rafah area, and declared: “This operation will continue as additional forces will enter [the area]. Several tunnels in the area have been destroyed by our troops and additional tunnels will be destroyed soon. This activity will intensify – Hamas is not an organization that can reorganize, it does not have reserve troops, it has no supply stocks, and no ability to treat the terrorists that we target. The result is that we are wearing Hamas down.



“My response to Defense Minister Yoav Galant’s severe words:

  1. The facts he mentioned are not true.
  2. The required conclusions are the opposite of what he said, the complete opposite.
  3. The military failure in the war should be corrected by changing the operational conceptzia, not by hiding it with political ideas, which they too are doomed to the same failure.”


  1. Your statement that Hamas no longer functions as a military organization in the Gaza Strip and that most of its battalions have been destroyed is not true. As someone who hears the reports from senior IDF officials in the committee, the facts are that all the Hamas battalions without exception, and even all the Islamic Jihad battalions are active. No battalion has stopped its operation, no battalion is missing a battalion or company commander. Some of them sustained some damage, much, much smaller than what is falsely conveyed to the public, but certainly none of them have been destroyed as you claimed.
  2. Contrary to your statement, which is also untrue on this point, Hamas functions exceptionally well as a military organization in the entire strip from north to south, including the firing of dozens of rockets in the timing it desires and to the places it wants to launch them (including yesterday in Sderot during the Independence Day march), with dozens of firing operations and explosives fitting the Hamas protocol, and the continued huge arms smuggling enterprise through the Philadelphi axis, which has continued from the first day of the war until today, even more so than in the past.
  3. Hamas is also fully functional from the civilian angle. You said that the elimination of its governmental capabilities is a priority of the IDF, but the IDF and the security agencies have done almost nothing in this regard! All 25 mayors, as well as the heads of the religious, economic, and social governing systems of Hamas are moving around unhindered and managing the civic life majestically. There is no operational plan to harm them, there are no procedures to incriminate and thwart them – this despite repeated demands for action on the part of the Foreign and Security Committee.
  4. The operational plan that the IDF submitted to the Cabinet under the leadership of the Chief of Staff and your leadership, and was presented to us in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee – was and still is a very poor plan from an operational point of view, considering the tasks that the IDF is required to perform. We all see the results today, seven months after the terrible massacre, as every child in Sderot or farmer in Kfar Aza knows that there is no substantial change on the ground and the IDF is not even close to achieving any of the war’s stated goals.
  5. Truth be told, the IDF is not implementing the plan it presented either. I don’t know if this was a direct American directive, but starting in mid-January, the IDF abandoned, without any plausible explanation, its plan which included occupation and control as preliminary steps in all the cities of the Gaza Strip, and went straight to “raids” and proceeded directly to “raids” and firing, including in places where, according to the original plan, it was supposed to conquer and occupy.
  6. If this was the intention of the IDF, then it would have been proper not to bring about the killing of many dozens of soldiers and to apply the “raids” method from the first stage of the war, as several MKs suggested at the meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee with your participation even before the invasion maneuver began. As you recall, you refused.
DM Gallant photographed in front of an IDF tank in Gaza, May 8, 2024. / Ariel Hermoni/IMoD


“There are many more inaccuracies in your statement, but the main part is the conceptual error in your conclusion, which brings us back to October 6 – “Israel must not govern the Gaza Strip.” The main reason for the terrible failure of the IDF in this war (a failure which is not less terrible than the failure of October 7) is singular: the absence of a clear primary goal of complete Israeli control over the Gaza Strip.

“It is impossible to eliminate Hamas in the Gaza Strip without Israel’s controlling the area. Because in the Gaza Strip, the population generates Hamas rather than Hamas altering the population.

“The thought that someone would do the job for us is a fantasy. By the way, when in one case there was a group that tried to raise its head, it was immediately eliminated by Hamas and this will happen to anyone else who tries.

“Only strong Israeli control over territory, aid, population, the border, and energy sources would lead to the elimination of Hamas, the creation of divide and conquer, and educational and social processes that would grow alternative social forces.

“Today, after 17 years of Hamas rule and education, there is no chance that surgical military operations of the type that the IDF has been doing since October 7 would lead to the emergence of an alternative government. These are empty words that have no basis in reality.”


“Israeli control over the Gaza Strip is the inevitable lesson from October 7 to anyone who understands security and terrorism, and it is also the necessary realization of the fundamental national values of liberating the homeland and the realization of the Zionist vision of being a free people in our country.

“These, too, it seems, are being abandoned by the security establishment and the senior IDF command.”

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