Tel Aviv [Israel]: The four-day ceasefire between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas will commence Friday, but experts say after a short pause fighting will resume with intensity for at least two months, The Times of Israel has reported.
Ahead of the slated lull in fighting, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Thursday that once the "short" temporary truce with Hamas ends, the military campaign would resume "with intensity" for at least two more months.
"What you will see in the coming days is first the release of hostages. This respite will be short," Gallant told troops of the Navy's Shayetet 13 elite commando unit. "What is required of you in this respite is to organize, get ready, investigate, resupply arms, and get ready to continue."
"There will be a continuation, because we need to complete the victory and create the impetus for the next groups of hostages, who will only come back as a result of pressure," he added.
The hostage release deal, mediated by the US and Qatar will see at least 50 Israeli women and children taken hostage during the October 7 offensive be released.
In return, Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners, all of them women or minors as well as a four-day break in the conflict to provide essential humanitarian aid, The Times of Israel has reported.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi echoed Gallant's comments earlier in the day, saying that the military is "not ending the war."
"We are trying to connect the goals of the war so that the pressure from the ground operation brings about the ability to also achieve the [other] goal of this war to create the conditions for the release of the abducted hostages," Halevi told commanders during a visit to Gaza, reported The Times of Israel.
"We are not ending the war. We will continue until we are victorious, going forward and continuing in other Hamas areas," he added.
The temporary truce kicks in at 7 am local time, with Israel Defence Forces increasing their intense shelling attacks throughout the night across the Gaza Strip, The Times of Israel has reported citing Palestinian media.
IDF strikes have predominantly targeted the Jabalia, Nuseirat and al-Maghazi refugee camps in northern Gaza, although exchanges of fire between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen have been reported in nearby Beit Lehia.
Residents living in the Gaza area have been told not to move from the conflict zone as it is "not allowed and dangerous".
A post shared on the IDF X page, formerly Twitter said, "IDF Spokesperson for Arab media, @AvichayAdraee, to the civilians of Gaza: "The war is not over yet. The humanitarian pause is temporary. The northern Gaza Strip is a dangerous war zone and it is forbidden to move north. For your safety, you must remain in the humanitarian zone in the south."
"It is only possible to move from the north of the Strip to the south via Salah al-Din Road. The movement of residents from the south of the Strip to the north is not allowed and dangerous," the IDF spokesperson stated.
Israel has vowed to eliminate Hamas from Gaza and end the group's 15-year rule of the strip, launching an aerial campaign and subsequent ground offensive to meet its goal, which will be paused after international pressure but will resume after the four-day period, The Times of Israel reported.