update deskIsrael at War

IDF: ‘All symbols of Hamas rule are under attack’

IDF: 400 Palestinian terrorists killed, dozens captured • IDF spokesman warns the terror group of "heavy fire that will intensify in the hours to come."

Smoke rises after Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip, Oct. 8, 2023. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.
Smoke rises after Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip, Oct. 8, 2023. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.

Israeli security forces have killed more than 400 Palestinian terrorists, and captured dozens more, since the Hamas terror group launched a surprise attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip on Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Sunday morning.

“As of this hour, there are forces fighting in Kfar Aza, there are searches in a large number of towns. There are IDF forces in all towns, there is no town that does not have an IDF force in it,” IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told journalists during a press conference.

According to Hebrew media reports, exchanges of fire were still ongoing in Kfar Aza, Kibbutz Zikim, Kissufim and Moshav Yated. In Kfar Aza, Israeli forces are reportedly fighting with 10 Hamas terrorists.

The IDF is working to evacuate Israeli citizens from villages near the border fence, neutralize the terror threat in Israeli territory, close the border with Gaza and continue strikes against Hamas sites in the coastal enclave, added Hagari.

The Israeli Air Force on Sunday morning expanded its list of targets in Gaza after the Israeli Security Cabinet green-lit the “destruction of the military and governing capabilities of Hamas and [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad.”

“All symbols of Hamas’s rule are under attack,” stated Hagari, warning the terrorist group of “heavy fire that will intensify in the hours to come.”

As of 10 a.m., the IDF targeted 500 Hamas sites in Gaza, he noted.

Meanwhile, Palestinian terrorist groups in the Strip continued to fire rockets at Israel’s southern region, with alerts being activated in Sderot, Ibim, Nir Am, Mefalsim and the western Negev Desert.

The Sderot Municipality said that six buildings took direct hits. Magen David Adom emergency responders treated two victims, including one in serious condition.

Early on Sunday morning, the Security Cabinet in Jerusalem made a series of decisions marking the start of the offensive phase of “Operation Swords of Iron.”

“We are embarking on a long and difficult war that was forced on us by a murderous Hamas attack,” said Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. “We will restore security to the citizens of Israel and we will win,” he vowed.

“The first stage is ending at this time with the destruction of the vast majority of the enemy forces that infiltrated our territory. At the same time, we have begun the offensive phase, which will continue with neither limitations nor respite until the objectives are achieved,” he added.

Among the Cabinet’s decisions was to halt the supply of electricity, fuel and goods to the Gaza Strip.

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group killed at least 500 Israelis and wounded more than 2,000 on Saturday in a massive offensive launched from the Gaza Strip, including firing thousands of rockets and sending dozens of terrorists to infiltrate the Jewish state.

Of the 1,864 wounded, 19 remain in critical condition, the Israeli Health Ministry announced on Sunday morning. In addition, 326 Israelis sustained severe wounds, while 359 were moderately wounded.

According to the Health Ministry’s most recent figures, 821 people suffered light injuries, 20 were treated for anxiety and another 223 are under medical supervision.

Hamas claims to have taken 163 Israeli captives to Gaza. Channel 13 reported late Saturday afternoon that Israel has confirmed that at least 11 people have been taken hostage in the Strip.

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