Israel's defense minister said on Thursday that additional troops would join a ground operation in an area of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, and that the campaign was wearing down Hamas.

"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," Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in a statement.

"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," he said.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch Editing by Bernadette Baum)