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Hamas is “militarily defeated” in Gaza, assures Minister Benny Gantz

Photo: Leo Correa Associated Press For the Israeli army, which has been fighting the Palestinian Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip for more than six months, “victory will come step by step,” he said.

Sophie Makris – Agence France-Presse and Belal al Sabbagh – Agence France-Presse respectively in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories

April 10, 2024

  • Middle East

Minister Benny Gantz, a member of the Israeli war cabinet, said Wednesday that Hamas was “militarily defeated” in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli army, which will continue its offensive, particularly in the area of Rafah.

“From a military point of view, Hamas is defeated. Its fighters have been eliminated or are in hiding. Its capabilities are reduced and we will continue to strike what remains,” the opposition leader said during a visit to Sderot in southern Israel.

For the Israeli army, which has been fighting the Palestinian Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip for more than six months, “victory will come step by step,” he said.

“We are on the right track and we will not stop. We will enter Rafah. We will return to Khan Younes, the town in the south of the Gaza Strip from where the Israeli army announced its withdrawal on Sunday, added Benny Gantz.

The Israeli army killed three sons of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in an airstrike in Gaza on Wednesday, but the leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement warned that the attack would not bring his movement to its knees after six months of devastating war. “I thank God for the honor brought to us by the martyrdom of my three sons and some of my grandchildren,” Mr. Haniyeh, based in Doha, told Qatar’s Al-Jazeera channel. “The enemy targeted a car they were in. »

Hamas said in a statement that in addition to three of his sons, four of Mr. Haniyeh's grandchildren had died in the strike in the Chati refugee camp in Gaza City, where the family visited relatives on the first day of the Fitr festival marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

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The Israeli army confirmed that it had killed Mr. Haniyeh's three sons, described as “military agents of the Hamas terrorist organization”, in an airstrike.

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas after an unprecedented attack on October 7 by Palestinian movement commandos infiltrated from Gaza in southern Israel, which claimed the lives of 1,170 people, majority of civilians, according to a report established by the AFP based on official Israeli figures.

The strike occurred as Qatari, Egyptian and American mediators await Hamas' response to their proposed truce with Israel, combined with the release of hostages held in Gaza.

“The enemy thinks he can break the will of our people and push the leaders to make concessions […] He can dream! This bloodshed will make us even firmer,” Haniyeh told Al Jazeera.

“[…] Our demands are clear and we will not give up on them. If the enemy believes that targeting my sons at the height of negotiations and before Hamas gives its response, will push the movement to change its position, he is wrong. The positions will not change,” he stressed.

Hamas considering a truce

Hossam Badran, a member of Hamas' political bureau, said the movement had not yet responded to the truce proposal and denied reports that it had rejected it.

Hamas repeated last week its demands for any agreement: a definitive ceasefire, the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, a significant increase in humanitarian aid, a return of the displaced and a “serious” agreement » exchange of Palestinian hostages and prisoners.

The mediators' proposal provides for a six-week truce, the release of 42 hostages held in Gaza in exchange for 800 to 900 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, the entry of 400 to 500 aid trucks every day in Gaza and the return home of residents of northern Gaza, according to a Hamas source.

During the October 7 attack, more than 250 people were kidnapped and 129 remain detained in Gaza, 34 of whom died according to Israeli officials.

US President Joe Biden, an Israeli ally, said Hamas “must move forward” on the truce proposal.

Despite calls for a ceasefire, new Israeli strikes left 14 people dead, including children, in the Nousseirat camp in central Gaza, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

In the last 24 hours and according to the same ministry, 122 additional deaths have been recorded in the territory besieged by Israel, bringing to 33,482 the number of people killed in Israeli military operations since the start of the war .

Considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union, Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007. That year, Israel imposed a total blockade on the Gaza Strip, two years after its withdrawal from the Palestinian territory it occupied for 38 years.

Hamas is “militarily defeated” in Gaza, assures Minister Benny Gantz

Photo: Agence France-Presse A Palestinian woman mourns a loved one killed on Wednesday in a cemetery in Rafah.


In an interview broadcast Tuesday by the Spanish-language channel Univision, Mr. Biden called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conduct of the war in Gaza “a mistake.”

On Wednesday, he again criticized Israel which, according to him, does not allow the entry of enough aid into the Gaza Strip threatened by famine, after Israel announced the increase, in recent days, of aid authorized to enter Palestinian territory.

On Sunday, the Israeli army announced the withdrawal of its soldiers from Khan Younes, the large southern city transformed into a field of ruins, in order to prepare for the ground offensive on Rafah, 3 km away to the south.

Israel presents Rafah as the last great bastion of Hamas. The United States has expressed its opposition to such an operation, worrying about civilians in the city where there are 1.5 million people, the majority displaced according to the UN.

According to the army, now only one brigade is still deployed in the Gaza Strip, in the center.

Eid “the saddest”

In the devastated Palestinian territory, among the ruins or in their shelters, many Palestinians prayed, around small cakes prepared despite shortages, on the occasion of Eid.

“We have never experienced an Eid like this, full of sadness, fear, destruction and devastation,” said Ahmed Qishta, a father of four, sheltering in Rafah.

On the Esplanade des Mosques in Jerusalem, the faithful had the war in Gaza on their minds.

“This is the saddest Eid we have ever experienced,” said Rawan Abd, a 32-year-old nurse.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116