The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claimed to have killed over 400 terrorists within Gaza, along with the capture of numerous others, as stated by an IDF spokesperson on Sunday. During a press briefing, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the top spokesperson for the IDF, disclosed that searches for Hamas terrorists were ongoing in several besieged towns. Hagari emphasized that IDF forces were deployed in all towns in the region.
The IDF’s mission objectives, as outlined by Hagari, included the evacuation of civilians from border communities in Gaza, cessation of fighting in the area, management of security barrier breaches, and continued strikes against terrorist targets within the Gaza Strip.
Ongoing firefights between IDF forces and terrorists were reported over 24 hours after Hamas initiated rocket attacks followed by an unprecedented ground assault. These confrontations were centred in Kfar Aza, located near the Gaza border, where the IDF worked to neutralize any remaining terrorists, as reported by The Times of Israel.
On Saturday, the situation escalated when Hamas launched a “surprise attack” on Israel, unleashing a barrage of rockets into southern and central regions of the country. The toll from these rocket attacks and the subsequent ground assault by Hamas had risen to over 300 casualties on Sunday, with an additional 1,864 individuals reported as injured. Additionally, several Israelis were reportedly taken hostage in Gaza, according to officials cited by the Times of Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stern warning to Hamas, characterizing their actions as the start of a dreadful war. He asserted that the IDF would employ all its strength to undermine Hamas’ capabilities. Netanyahu decried the invasion of Israeli territory by Hamas, particularly on a holiday and Shabbat, which resulted in the tragic loss of innocent lives, including children and the elderly.
Netanyahu emphasized the ruthlessness of Hamas, accusing them of targeting homes and abducting the elderly, children, and girls. He expressed his commitment to preventing such events from happening again in Israel.
The IDF also provided updates on its counter-offensive, reporting that Israeli fighter jets had struck a military facility at the residence of Hamas’ intelligence chief in Gaza. The IDF shared this information on social media, indicating that their attacks throughout the Gaza Strip were ongoing.
The initial attack, which began at 6:30 a.m. local time on Saturday, involved Hamas fighters infiltrating Israel through land, sea, and air. In response, Israel’s military conducted a series of air raids on Gaza.
Senior Hamas military leader Mohammed Deif referred to the attacks as the commencement of “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood,” calling on Palestinians worldwide to resist Israeli occupation. The Israeli military issued warnings to citizens residing near the Gaza Strip, advising them to remain indoors as Hamas would face severe consequences for its actions.
The Al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, framed Saturday’s attack on Israel as a defence of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a religious site with significance for both Muslims and Jews.
Also Read: UN Security Council Calls Closed-Door Meeting Following Hamas Attack on Israel
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