Gallant: Hamas Underestimated Israel’s Response to Attacks

By Aryeh Stern

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks with Israeli soldiers at a staging area not far from the Israel-Gaza border, Oct. 19. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

In an interview with the British Daily Mail published on Monday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated that Hamas misjudged Israel’s reaction to their Oct. 7 terror attack. Gallant highlighted the challenges democracies face in war but emphasized Israel’s strength in defending its values once engaged. He noted significant losses for Hamas in Gaza’s northern region and outlined the terrorists’ limited options: surrender or face death.

Gallant also expressed concern over Hamas propaganda’s influence on universities and protests, claiming financial support activates terror networks globally. He characterized the conflict as a clash between civilizations, labeling Hamas a medieval phenomenon. Gallant highlighted Israel’s role as the frontline defense against Hamas ideology’s spread to the Western world.

Addressing reports of Hamas controlling humanitarian aid, Gallant accused the terror group of manipulating the humanitarian situation, exploiting civilians, and utilizing civilian infrastructure to shield terror facilities, including tunnels beneath hospitals and schools.

Gallant delivered a pointed message to those in the U.K. who continue to back the Gaza regime, directing their attention to the disturbing accounts surrounding the misappropriation of aid.

“Hamas uses every tool possible, including sacrificing hundreds of thousands of civilians. They are capitalizing on the humanitarian situation and using the civilian population. They are using hospitals and civilian infrastructure to protect terror infrastructure.”

As his British counterpart, Grant Shapps, visited Israel, Gallant used the opportunity to express his gratitude for the support given by the U.K. “The level of understanding and cooperation between Israel and the U.K. militarily, and in the field of intelligence, are at a peak and will only go further. We share the same values and interests, especially in the fight against terrorism,” he said.

“Secretary Shapps’s visit was historic – we haven’t had a visit by a British Secretary of State for Defense in 27 years. We deeply value our relationship and defense cooperation.”

On the northern front, exchanges of fire between the IDF and Iran-backed Hezbollah have steadily intensified, with the only cessation occurring during the week of hostages-for-prisoners exchange. “We do not want war [in the north], but if we reach a situation where we need to establish our security here, we will not hesitate – just as we did not hesitate in the south,” Gallant said.

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