Airstrikes continued in Gaza and Lebanon overnight, as Israeli Defense Forces seek to “tighten the noose” around Hamas in the Gaza Strip and prevent a further escalation with Hezbollah in the north.
Operating on intelligence provided by Shin Bet and IDF, an Israeli Air Force jet killed Mohsen Abu Zina, Hamas' head of Weapons and Industries in its manufacturing department.
Abu Zina served as one of the terror group's leading weapons developers and was an expert in developing strategic weapons and rockets used by Hamas terrorists.
IDF troops also identified a group of terrorists planning an anti-tank attack. The IDF called in an airstrike and eliminated several of the terrorists, ultimately preventing the attack.
On Tuesday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the nation from the military headquarters in Tel Aviv to update the population about war efforts.
“As of now, we have eliminated thousands of terrorists above ground – and below ground,” Netanyahu said. “We have eliminated arch-murderers who planned and perpetrated the terrible massacre on that black Shabbat one month ago.”
“Hamas is discovering that we can go to places they did not think we could, and the campaign is continuing,” Netanyahu told the nation.
“Gaza will no longer constitute a threat to Israel,” Netanyahu added.
The premier also said that he has been in constant communication with U.S. President Joe Biden.
Netanyahu confirmed: “There will be no ceasefire without the release of our hostages.”
An IDF source told the Walla! news outlet that Hamas no longer has the advantage over Israel in Gaza.
“As a result of the airstrikes, the engineering activity on the ground, and the killing of senior commanders, the command and control structure of Hamas is broken,” the officer said, and that Hamas has been “unable to carry out organized attacks in Gaza City and its outskirts.”
The officer also claimed that IDF’s activities have changed the landscape in such a way that Hamas fighters are disoriented when exiting tunnels and “difficulty understanding where they are.”
He stated that the IDF trains soldiers for combat in destroyed urban environments.
A senior IDF officer told Walla that “the quantity of weapons we found [in Gaza City] raises many questions about what is happening in the Philadelphi Corridor.”
The Philadelphia Corridor is the 14 km-long (8.7 mile) border area between Gaza and Egypt. Prior to the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, the area had been riddled with smuggling tunnels.
After the Hamas takeover, the terrorists began to take control of the tunnels, as well as build new ones for smuggling weapons and rocket-producing supplies.
“The State of Israel cannot stand by while Hamas smuggles enormous quantities of weapons from the Egyptian area,” the officer said.
Former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel would inevitably need to strike Iran, which supports its terror proxies – Hamas, Hezbollah and others.
“Iran is the head of the octopus whose arms are Hamas and Hezbollah. Tehran must also be hit eventually,” Bennett stated.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.