Israel claims to have dismantled Hamas command in north Gaza

The Israeli army announced that it has “successfully neutralized” the Hamas leadership in the northern Gaza Strip, as the war continues to rage on with no end in sight.

According to the Israeli army, it has “successfully neutralized” the Hamas leadership in the northern Gaza Strip.

Daniel Hagari, an army spokesperson, said to the media that Palestinian fighters are now acting in the area only occasionally and “without coordination”.

He claimed that Israel had eliminated around 8,000 fighters in north Gaza. This number has not been independently confirmed by the BBC.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) are now concentrating on neutralizing Hamas in south and central Gaza, he added.

The Hamas-run health ministry reports that more than 22,000 people have been killed by Israel since the war started. It said that it had registered more than 120 deaths in the last 24 hours on Saturday.

The region has been destroyed and most of the 2.3 million inhabitants have been forced to flee.

Israel’s assault began after Hamas gunmen attacked southern Israel unexpectedly on 7 October, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and capturing about 240 people.

More than 120 are still in captivity, after some agreed releases.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated on Saturday that Israel would persist in its mission to “eradicate Hamas, rescue our captives and guarantee that Gaza will not pose a danger to Israel”.

“We have to set everything aside … until the total victory is secured,” Mr Netanyahu stated.

In the meantime, Hezbollah launched dozens of rockets at northern Israel on Saturday, in what it called an initial reaction to the killing of a senior Hamas official in Beirut earlier this week.

Saleh al-Arouri was killed in a presumed Israeli attack in the Lebanese capital.

A statement by the Lebanese movement, which is supported by Iran, says it struck an air traffic control base in Meron with 62 rockets. The Israeli military said it had detected about 40 launches from Lebanon, and that it had retaliated.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday that he was committed to ensuring that the Gaza conflict does not escalate and avoiding “a perpetual cycle of violence”.

Mr Blinken was in Greece at the beginning of a week-long tour to the region. He has since travelled to Jordan.

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