Airstrikes hammer Hamas targets as Israeli death toll rises to 1,200

October 12, 2023, 10:05 am

<p><strong>AT WAR.</strong> Billows of smoke rise through the air as Israel strikes on Gaza City on the third day of its Operation Swords of Iron. The Philippine government confirmed on Wednesday (Oct. 11, 2023) that two Filipinos were killed in the war between Israeli forces and the Hamas group.<em> (Photo by Majdi Fathi/Tazpit Press Service)</em></p>

AT WAR. Billows of smoke rise through the air as Israel strikes on Gaza City on the third day of its Operation Swords of Iron. The Philippine government confirmed on Wednesday (Oct. 11, 2023) that two Filipinos were killed in the war between Israeli forces and the Hamas group. (Photo by Majdi Fathi/Tazpit Press Service)

JERUSALEM – The number of Israelis murdered during Hamas’ invasion of southern Israel over the weekend rose to 1,200 on Wednesday morning, as the Israel Defense Forces continued to pummel Palestinian terror assets in the Gaza Strip.

Overnight Tuesday, the Israeli Air Force hit more than 200 targets in Gaza’s Al Furqan neighborhood, which it called “a terror nest for Hamas,” from which “many activities against Israel are carried out.”

It was Israel’s third strike in the area in the past 24 hours, according to the military.

The IDF “will continue to act powerfully against the infrastructures of the terrorist organization Hamas, which aims terror against Israel, and continues extensive waves of attacks in the Gaza Strip,” it added.

Among the Hamas targets hit across the Strip were weapons storage facilities, command and control centers, naval assets and more, the military said.

The operational headquarters used by the rocket force of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization was also hit.

“We have released all restraints, regained control of the [border] area and are moving to full offense,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told troops during a visit to the south on Tuesday night.

“You will have the ability to change reality here. You have seen the prices paid. Hamas wanted a change in Gaza. It will change 180 degrees from what it thought,” the minister said. “They will regret this moment. Gaza will never return to what it was. Whoever comes to decapitate, murder women, Holocaust survivors -- we will eliminate them with all our might and without compromise.”

On Wednesday, IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that over the past 24 hours, Israeli forces had killed 18 Palestinian terrorists who had infiltrated Israeli territory during Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault.

“These are the same terrorists who did not flee back to Gaza. They are in hiding places near the border. That’s why the scans are being conducted, and there are tens of thousands of troops in the area surrounding the Strip,” Hagari said.

The IDF said on Tuesday that some 1,500 Palestinian terrorists had been killed in Israel since Hamas launched its cross-border raid on Saturday morning.

Hagari added that Hamas has fired some 5,000 rockets at Israel since the war broke out, targeting the south and center of the country.

He defined the elimination of senior Hamas terrorists as the military’s “top priority.”


The Northern Front

The military is simultaneously reinforcing Israel’s northern frontier, after Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group took responsibility on Tuesday evening for firing anti-tank missiles at the Jewish state.

An IDF attack helicopter responded by striking a Hezbollah post.

“The IDF is prepared for all scenarios in all arenas, and will continue to operate in order to protect Israeli civilians,” stated the military.
Earlier on Tuesday, the IDF attacked two Hezbollah observation posts in Southern Lebanon with artillery fire after terrorists there fired rockets into Israel.

“Around 15 launches were detected from Lebanese territory. Air-defense systems successfully intercepted four launches, 10 launches fell in Lebanese territory,” the IDF confirmed.

Mortar shells were also fired at Israel from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights on Tuesday evening.


US response

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday night gave a 10-minute televised speech in which he addressed the “unadulterated evil” of Hamas’s attack on Israel.

“The brutality of Hamas, the bloodthirstiness, brings to mind the worst rampages of ISIS [Islamic State]. This is terrorism, but sadly for the Jewish people, it’s not new,” Biden said.

“They use Palestinian civilians as human shields,” he said of the Hamas terrorist organization, which has said that it will execute captives, “in violation of every code of human morality.”

The US president distinguished between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and the Palestinian people, saying, “Hamas doesn’t stand for the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and self-determination. Its stated purpose is the annihilation of the state of Israel and the murder of Jewish people.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to head to Jerusalem on Wednesday.

According to the US State Department, Blinken will “reaffirm the United States’ solidarity with the government and people of Israel.  He will also discuss measures to bolster Israel’s security and underscore the United States’ unwavering support for Israel’s right to defend itself.” (Tazpit Press Service)