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Israel’s war against Hamas enters 100th day

Plans approved to step up military pressure on Hamas • IDF Gaza death toll rises to 188 • More than 700 Hamas rocket launchers have been destroyed to date.

IDF soldiers operating in the Gaza Strip, Jan. 13, 2024. Credit: IDF
IDF soldiers operating in the Gaza Strip, Jan. 13, 2024. Credit: IDF

Israel’s ground offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip continued on Sunday as the war entered its 100th day.

In Maghazi in central Gaza, an Israeli Air Force craft struck two armed terrorists attempting to attack IDF troops. In Atrata in northern Gaza, soldiers located and destroyed several launch pits used to fire rockets at Israeli territory.

IDF forces continued operations in the Hamas stronghold of Khan Yunis in the southern Strip, eliminating 16 terrorists in joint ground and aerial maneuvers throughout the city, and locating a tunnel shaft.

Halevi: IDF to increase pressure on Hamas

“Today, we approved plans for the Southern Command to continue the fighting and increase military pressure on Hamas,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said during a press briefing on Saturday.

It was this pressure that would lead to the “dissolution” of Hamas and the return of the hostages still being held by the terror group, he added.

“This pressure, and only it, has so far succeeded in bringing about the return of many abductees,” said Halevi, referring to the ceasefire with Hamas in November, during which the terror group released 110 hostages, mostly women and children.

The announcement comes as the IDF transitions from the second phase of the war—the high-intensity stage of surging ground forces throughout Gaza—to the third phase, involving more targeted operations, with a focus on southern Gaza.

IDF Gaza death toll rises to 188

The IDF announced on Sunday morning that Sgt. Maj. (res.) Andu’alem Kabeda, 21, from Kiryat Gat, had been killed in battle in the Gaza Strip.

Sgt. Maj. (res.) Andu’alem Kabeda, 21, from Kiryat Gat. Credit: IDF.

Since ground operations began in Gaza on Oct. 27, a total of 188 soldiers have been killed; 522 have lost their lives in total since the start of the war on Oct. 7.

Over 700 rocket launchers destroyed

The IDF said on Friday that it has destroyed more than 700 Hamas rocket launchers since the beginning of the fighting in Gaza, and is working to completely destroy the terror group’s remaining launch capabilities.

Israeli forces operating in the Gaza Strip are confiscating many hundreds of rockets, including long-range rockets, in addition to uncovering and destroying rocket launchers, according to the IDF.

Troops from the IDF’s Golani Brigade located and destroyed loaded rocket launchers ready to fire toward Israeli territory hidden inside a cemetery, according to the military. The cemetery was not damaged.

Also, Hamas was detected firing rockets from behind a school and a mosque. The launchers were destroyed.

The war began on Oct. 7 when thousands of Hamas and other terrorists invaded southern Israel, followed by Gaza residents, murdering 1,200 civilians and soldiers, wounding thousands more and snatching 240 hostages. They committed acts of rape, including gang gape, beheadings, arson, torture, mutilation, desecration of the dead, looting and destruction of property. Thousands of rockets were fired at Israel during the assault.

There are believed to be 136 hostages still being held by Hamas in Gaza.

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