Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Monday claimed that Hamas has “lost control” of the Gaza Strip that it has ruled for 16 years. His claim comes after over a month of mounting attacks between Israel and Hamas that has brought unseen levels of death and destruction to Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinian residents.
“Hamas has lost control of Gaza. Terrorists are fleeing southward. Civilians are looting Hamas bases,” he said, albeit without providing evidence. “They don’t have faith in the government anymore,” Gallant said in a video broadcast on Israel’s main TV stations, according to AFP.
Hamas has lost control of Gaza, its activists fleeing to the south while local residents are plundering its bases, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant said on Monday.
“There is no force of Hamas capable of stopping the IDF (Israel Defense Forces – TASS). The IDF is advancing to every point. The Hamas organization has lost control of Gaza. Terrorists are fleeing south. Civilians are looting Hamas bases. They have no confidence in the government,” The Times of Israel newspaper quoted him as saying.
According to the minister, Israeli forces are advancing “according to plans and carry out the tasks accurately, lethally.” The IDF, in his words, has intensified its operations against Hamas’ tunnels under Gaza.
“We work according to tasks. We don’t have a stopwatch. We have goals. We will achieve our goals,” Gallant stressed.
Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7 after militants from the Gaza Strip-based radical Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise incursion on Israeli territory, killing many Israeli kibbutz residents living near the Gaza border and abducting more than 200 Israelis, including women, children and the elderly.
Hamas described its attack as a response to Israeli authorities’ aggressive actions against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. Israel declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and launched bombardments of the enclave and some areas in Lebanon and Syria, as well as a ground operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Clashes are also reported in the West Bank.
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