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Israel-Gaza live updates: Israeli military has ‘green light’ to move into Gaza, official says

The Israeli military has a “green light” to move into Gaza whenever it’s ready, a member of the country’s security cabinet told ABC News.

Hostages and civilian casualties will be secondary to destroying Hamas, Economy Minister Nir Barakat told ABC News, “even if it takes a year.”

Asked about the miles of tunnels Hamas has built under Gaza, he said they’d become the “world’s biggest cemetery.” Hamas has claimed to be holding some or all of the 203 Israeli hostages it’s taken within that vast network.

“We shall do all efforts to bring our hostages, to bring our hostages [back] alive…” he said, but the “first and last priority” is destroying Hamas.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad together have about 50,000 fighters, said Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter, former head of Shin Bet, the Israel Security Agency.

-ABC News’ Matt Gutman

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