Israel has laid out three-phases in its war against Hamas, at the end of which they plan to establish a “new security regime” in the Gaza Strip.
Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 before soon afterwards imposing a land, sea and air blockade on the enclave that was intensified in 2007, when Hamas took power.
After Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel last week, killing at least 1,400 people, the country retaliated by imposing a complete seige on Gaza and has started mobilising its troops for a ground offensive.
The relentless aerial bombardment of Gaza has so far killed over 4,100 people, according to the health ministry in the besieged enclave.
Defence Minister Yoav Gallant outlined “three stages” of the hostilities which will see Israel vanquish Hamas by destroying its governmental and military capabilities.
He said the initial and current phase of incessant strikes across the Palestinian territory would be followed by “neutralising terrorists and destroying Hamas infrastructure”.
The subsequent stage will take not “a day, nor a week, nor a month”, Gallant told parliament’s foreign affairs and defence committee.
Gallant said that the final aim is to remove any responsibility Israel has over Gaza by creating a new “security regime” in the region.
“The military campaign will put in place a new security reality for the citizens of Israel”, Gallant said.
Israel’s military last week ordered more than a million residents of northern Gaza to flee to the south, prompting Palestinians to argue the army was seeking the permanent mass displacement of residents.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said he will not allow any influx of refugees from Gaza, without commenting on any potential future role Cairo may play in the enclave.
Palestinians have also faced tight border restrictions imposed by Egypt, at Gaza’s southern Rafah crossing.