The Israeli military announced on Tuesday that it had successfully reclaimed full control of the border with Gaza after a weekend incursion by Hamas militants left hundreds of Israelis dead and prompted a massive military response.
Richard Hecht, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), provided updates on the situation, revealing the ongoing challenges despite territorial gains.
Hamas militants had breached Israeli defenses over the weekend, launching a multi-pronged assault that resulted in a rampage through nearby communities. In response, the IDF initiated a swift and determined operation to regain control of the border region.
Hecht stated that as of Monday night, no additional militants had entered Israeli territory from Gaza. However, there were concerns that some Palestinian attackers could still be on the move within Israel.
The IDF reported that the bodies of 1,500 militants had been discovered within Israeli territory, with hundreds of other attackers successfully apprehended. Nevertheless, sporadic exchanges of fire along the border continued to disrupt the region’s peace and stability.
Clashes were reported in the communities of Sa’ad and Kissufim in the Negev desert, located near the Gaza Strip, as the IDF sought to maintain control and restore order in the affected areas.
In a separate development, Israel persisted with its retaliatory airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Since the outset of the conflict on Saturday, Israeli Health Ministry statistics indicated that approximately 900 people had lost their lives in Israel due to Hamas fighters, with over 2,600 others sustaining injuries.
Conversely, retaliatory Israeli counter-attacks in the Gaza Strip had claimed the lives of at least 687 individuals, and more than 3,800 people had been injured, as reported by the Health Ministry in Gaza.
As tensions escalated, Israel called up around 300,000 reservists on Monday, suggesting the possibility of a ground invasion into the densely populated Palestinian enclave.
“We are currently concentrating our efforts on offensive operations within Gaza,” Hecht explained, hinting at the IDF’s commitment to restoring peace in the region. He also noted that the military had established infrastructure for future operations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the situation on Monday evening, declaring, “What Hamas will face will be harsh and terrible. We are only at the beginning of our efforts to secure our borders and protect our citizens.”
As the conflict continues to unfold, the international community watches closely, hoping for a swift resolution to the crisis that has claimed lives on both sides and disrupted the lives of countless civilians in the region.