The ongoing Israel Defense Forces offensive will leave Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization with “zero military capabilities and zero motivation to carry out attacks” for decades, a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told journalists on Wednesday.
“We regard Gaza as a huge terror base, the new caliphate as you will. This is ISIS on steroids because it has a state behind it: Iran,” the spokeswoman said as she announced Israeli officials are examining “new indications” of direct Iranian involvement in Hamas’s Oct. 7 shock attack.
“We are a country at war, but not only we are at war: This is a war of the entire civilized world against savagery,” the official said.
On Saturday morning, Hamas terrorists infiltrated several Israeli communities, killing at least 1,200 people and taking at least 100 hostages back to Gaza. Some 3,000 people were wounded in shooting and rocket attacks over the weekend, and the toll continues to climb.
As part of “Operation Swords of Iron,” the IDF is conducting wide-scale strikes on several strategic centers belonging to Hamas.
Overnight Tuesday, the Israel Air Force hit more than 200 targets in Gaza City’s Al Furqan neighborhood, which it called “a terror nest for Hamas” from which “many activities against Israel are carried out.”
The IDF “will continue to act powerfully against the infrastructures of the terrorist organization Hamas, which aim terror against Israel, and continues extensive waves of attacks in the Gaza Strip,” it added.
The more than 2,450 Hamas targets that have been hit across the Strip in five days of war included weapons storage facilities, command and control centers and naval assets, according to the military.
According to IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the military has defined killing senior Hamas terrorists as its “top priority.”
Palestinian sources reported on Wednesday that Abdel-Fattah Diab Deif, the brother of Hamas military commander Muhammad Deif, was killed in an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza Strip.
Overnight Monday, Hamas “Economy Minister” Jawad Abu Shamala was killed in an Israeli airstrike. Abu Shamala managed the finances of the organization and earmarked the funds for financing and directing terrorism both inside and outside the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF.
He previously held security positions in the terrorist organization and led several operations aimed at harming citizens of the State of Israel, the army added.
Zakaria Abu Muammar, a senior member of the Hamas political bureau who headed the terrorist group’s National Relations Office, was killed in a separate strike.
“Abu Muammar was known to be close to [Hamas leader in Gaza] Yahya Sinwar and, as part of his position, worked to incite and act against the sovereignty of the State of Israel and endanger its residents,” the IDF noted.
“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.
“Hamas wanted a change in Gaza. It will change 180 degrees from what it thought,” the minister said. “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.”