Hamas Terrorists Fire Rockets At Central Israel As Rally Held For Return Of Hostages

Hamas Terrorists Fire Rockets At Central Israel As Rally Held For Return Of Hostages

Nov. 5, 2023, 8:14 a.m.

Hamas continued to fire rockets at Israeli Saturday, targeting Sderot and Ashkelon. It also said it launched an Ayyash 250 rocket — believed to have a range of 250 kilometers — at the southernmost city of Eilat.

If Gazans do it, it’ll shorten war, defense minister says, as IDF chief visits troops in Strip; 4 IDF soldiers killed; IDF says it used intel from Hamas captive to strike sites

As the Israel Defense Forces deepened its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip Saturday, engaging in firefights with gunmen inside the enclave while continuing to carry out airstrikes on Hamas targets, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Israel was “taking apart Hamas battalion after battalion” and would eliminate the terror group’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar.

Gallant said Israeli forces were attacking terror targets in Gaza City from both the south and north, and had entered urban areas.

He said “Hamas has no limits,” as Israel saw on October 7 with the terror group’s horrific assault and brutal killings. “The Hamas leadership is responsible. We will get to that leadership,” he vowed. “We will get to [Hamas Gaza chief] Yahya Sinwar and eliminate him. If the residents of Gaza get there ahead of us, that will shorten the war.”

When the war ends, he said, “there will be no more Hamas in Gaza. There will be no more security threat from Gaza on Israel, and Israel will have absolute freedom to take whatever security action it seeks against anyone who raises their head in Gaza [to threaten it].”

The IDF pushed forward with its ground offensive in the northern part of the enclave Saturday, with infantry and tanks encountering numerous attempts by Hamas operatives to come out of tunnels to attack troops.

The forces killed several gunmen and located the tunnels, which would be later destroyed, the IDF said. In one encounter, the IDF said ground forces fought off a group of 15 Hamas operatives, killing several of them, and shelling their observation posts.

The military also continued to carry out airstrikes on terror targets throughout the Strip. It said it struck some 120 targets in the Strip throughout the day, including Hamas compounds and anti-tank launch positions.

The army noted that fighter jets struck a Hamas site on the roof of a building, as well as a tunnel near the building, following intelligence information gathered from the Shin Bet interrogation of a Hamas member.

Hamas said a strike also targeted the family home of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, which was being used by two of his sons. Hamas had no immediate details on damage or casualties. Haniyeh has lived in Qatar for years.

On Saturday evening the military released four additional names of soldiers killed in the fighting. Their deaths bring the toll of slain soldiers since Israel launched its ground operation in the Gaza Strip last week to 28, and 345 since October 7.

gaza bombed.jpg

The Associated Press reported that Israeli military strikes killed multiple civilians at a UN shelter and hospital in the main combat zone in northern Gaza. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees said two strikes hit a UN school-turned-shelter just north of Gaza City, killing several people in tents in the schoolyard and women who were baking bread inside the building.

It was not clear how the news agency determined the strike was Israeli. Palestinian rocket misfires have also caused multiple civilian casualties in Gaza.

The IDF did not immediately comment, but generally says it targets Hamas terror infrastructure — a vast network of posts, command centers, weapons caches and tunnels — embedded within the civilian population. The army has urged residents of northern Gaza to move south as it intensifies its activity in the Gaza City area.

An estimated 800,000 Palestinians have fled to the south from Gaza City and other northern areas following repeated Israeli calls to evacuate, but hundreds of thousands remain in the north, including many who left and later returned. Israel is also carrying out some airstrikes in the south.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said Saturday that more than 9,400 Palestinians have been killed since Hamas sparked war with its murderous assault. Hamas figures cannot be independently confirmed, and the terror group has been accused of artificially inflating the death toll. The figures do not differentiate between terror operatives and civilians nor between those killed in Israeli strikes and those killed by the hundreds of rockets fired by terror groups that have fallen short inside the Strip.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi held an assessment with forces inside the Strip Saturday, the military said. A video released by the IDF showed Halevi meeting with the commander of the 162nd Division, Brig. Gen. Itzik Cohen, and other officers.

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