Israeli Defense Minister Gallant: Hamas’ Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar “will soon meet the barrels of our guns.”
Amid reports that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has eliminated more than 8,000 terrorists after eleven weeks of campaign in Gaza, the military is closing in on Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar, Israel’s defense minister said.
“One thing is clear – Yahya Sinwar now hears the IDF tractors above him, the Air Force bombs and the IDF’s actions. He will soon meet the barrels of our guns,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared Friday. Sinwar, who is regarded as the key architect of the October 7 massacre, is believed to be hiding in southern Gaza as Israeli ground troops bring most of the Hamas stronghold in the north under their control.
The Israeli news website Arutz Sheva reported defense minister’s remarks:
Speaking at the conclusion of a daily assessment of the situation with senior members of the defense establishment, Gallant said, “The activity of the IDF and the defense establishment continues. In the north of the Gaza Strip – the operation is gradually completing the goals we set: Disbanding the Hamas battalions and denying their underground capabilities. We also operate in the Khan Yunis area and the south of the Gaza Strip, and we will operate in other places in the future.”
“One thing is clear – Yahya Sinwar now hears the IDF tractors above him, the Air Force bombs and the IDF’s actions. He will soon meet the barrels of our guns,” the Defense Minister vowed.
“We will go and deepen our activity and complete all our goals – first of all, the elimination of the Hamas terrorist organization, the denial of its military and governmental capabilities, and the return of the hostages to Israel,” Gallant added. “The operation will be a drawn-out operation, requiring patience, but we will reach an achievement.”
Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant tells Yahya Sinwar that soon he will meet the barrels of Israeli guns. pic.twitter.com/GckjsOnObL
— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) December 22, 2023
Since the Gaza ground offensive began on October 27, the IDF has rounded up hundreds of terror operatives for interrogation to Israel. “More than 200 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist operatives apprehended by the IDF and ISA in the Gaza Strip over the last week were taken for further questioning in Israel,” the military disclosed in a press release on Saturday morning. “Overall, over 700 operatives from terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip have been taken for further questioning thus far.”
The Israeli TV channel i24NEWS reported Saturday:
Security services have detained over 700 terrorists in Gaza and have transferred them for further investigation Israel
Israeli army reserve colonel Olivier Rafovitch on Saturday told i24NEWS that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has killed 8,000 terrorists affiliated with Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the Gaza Strip since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. 2,000 of those are said to have been eliminated since the end of the truce at the end of November.
700 were stated detained by the IDF and Shin Bet and transferred to Israel for further investigation in Israel. Israeli security services aim to obtain the intelligence on strategic targets in the Strip.
IDF demolishes major Hamas tunnel network hidden under Gaza City’s Palestine Square, where the terror group's top officials hid on October 7.
— Emily Schrader – אמילי שריידר امیلی شریدر (@emilykschrader) December 22, 2023
The actual number of slain terrorists could be even higher as Israeli soldiers and combat engineers continue to destroy hundreds of tunnel shafts running across the jihadist-ridden enclave. The IDF on Friday blow up a major underground terror complex in the heart of Gaza city.
“Israel has blown up what it says was a “subterranean terror city” underneath a central Gaza City square that was used to plot the October 7 massacre,” the British newspaper Telegraph reported Friday. “The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said it discovered “terrorist infrastructure” underneath Palestine Square, with lengthy tunnels connecting hiding places and offices belonging to Hamas’s senior military and political leaders.”
#NEW: IDF troops eliminated dozens of terrorists in joint ground and air operations. In northern Gaza City, forces fired decoy shots that lured dozens of terrorists into a Hamas compound. Troops then directed a fighter jet to strike the building, eliminating the terrorists. pic.twitter.com/3IoN75dk3V
— Israel War Room (@IsraelWarRoom) December 23, 2023
Suspected Iranian drone strike hits Israel-linked ship off India’s coast
After a series of recent maritime attacks on Israeli ships by Iran-backed Houthi Islamic terrorist group in the Red Sea, an Israel-linked ship was hit by a suspected Iranian drone strike off the coast of India, media reports on Saturday suggest. The tanker carrying crude oil to a southern Indian port was set ablaze by the attack drone. The ship’s crew was reportedly rescued by the Indian Navy.
“A UAV launched from Iran attacked a ship "related to Israel" near India” https://t.co/7THl9H2sM9
— Mark Halawa – مارك حلاوه (@HalawaMark) December 23, 2023
The Reuters reported the latest attack of Israel-affiliated ship:
An Israel-affiliated merchant vessel was struck by an uncrewed aerial vehicle off India’s west coast, British maritime security firm Ambrey said on Saturday, in the first such known attack so far away from the Red Sea since the Gaza war.
A fire on the Liberian-flagged tanker was extinguished without crew casualties in the incident 200 km (120 miles) southwest of the Indian city of Veraval, it said, adding some “structural damage was also reported and some water was taken onboard”.
“Merchant vessels are advised these types of attacks are typically targeted at Israel-affiliated shipping, but have in the past mistakenly hit previously Israel-affiliated vessels,” Ambrey said. “This event fell within Ambrey’s Iranian UAV heightened threat area.”
An Indian Navy official told Reuters that it responded to a request for assistance on Saturday morning.
“The safety of crew and ship has been ascertained. The Navy has also dispatched a warship to arrive in the area and provide assistance as required,” the official said, declining to be named as he was not authorised to discuss the incident.
UN passes resolution calling for more “humanitarian pauses”
The 15 member United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution on Friday urging Israel to offer more humanitarian pauses and supplies to Gaza as the IDF tightens its noose around Hamas’s terrorist leadership. The resolution calls for “extended humanitarian pauses” while Hamas still holds around 130 Israel hostages, including women and children. The Biden administration, which is already pressuring Israel to make similar concessions, abstained from voting.
The trucks carrying humanitarian aid of food and fuel to Gaza have repeatedly been looted by Hamas terrorists and diverted towards their terrorist campaign against the Israeli military. The terrorist group is hoarding massive amounts of food and essential supplies in order to sustain its leadership and terrorist fighters as they hide in the safety of underground tunnels and bunkers.
Not only did 201 trucks of humanitarian aid go into Gaza today, with 0 hostages coming out … but the aid went right to the members of Hamas, who can be seen on top of the trucks, high jacking the aid meant for civilians.
— Ari Ingel (@OGAride) December 17, 2023
The Associated Press reported:
The U.N. Security Council adopted a watered-down resolution Friday calling for immediately speeding aid deliveries to hungry and desperate civilians in Gaza but without the original plea for an “urgent suspension of hostilities” between Israel and Hamas.
The long-delayed vote in the 15-member council was 13-0 with the United States and Russia abstaining. The U.S. abstention avoided a third American veto of a Gaza resolution following Hamas’ surprise Oct. 7 attacks inside Israel. Russia wanted the stronger language restored; the U.S. did not. (…)
Thus the resolution was stripped of its key provision with teeth — the call for “the urgent suspension of hostilities to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access, and for urgent steps towards a sustainable cessation of hostilities.”
Instead, it calls “for urgent steps to immediately allow safe, unhindered and expanded humanitarian access, and also for creating the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities.” The steps are not defined, but diplomats said it was the council’s first reference to stopping fighting.
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