Israel’s military has said it is in control of all the settlements surrounding Gaza as a map released on Monday has shown the area of clashes between its troops and Hamas militants.
Meanwhile, an Israeli lawmaker has told Newsweek that the surprise attack by Hamas on Saturday in southern Israel would be followed by “the end of independent Palestinian rule” in Gaza.
Hamas militants deployed missiles, bulldozers, hand gliders and motorbikes in a surprise attack launched Saturday, the worst breach of Israel’s defenses since Egypt and Syria’s attacks in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Daniel Hagari said on Monday “we are in control of the settlements surrounding Gaza, it is possible that there are still terrorists in the area.”
Earlier, Israel’s military had said fighting was taking place in “seven or eight” places inside Israeli territory. A graphic by War Mapper showed the locations of the clashes in Mefalsim, and in Sderot after renewed Hamas attacks in that area. War Mapper is a social media account that tracks the state of the conflict, primarily in Ukraine.
Other clashes marked on the map were in Kfar Aza, Be’eri, Magen, and Otakim, as well as near Karmiya.
At least 700 people have been killed in Israel and over 400 have been killed in Gaza, according to the Associated Press. Hamas is also believed to have taken dozens of Israeli hostages.
Hanoch Milwidsky, a member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, from the Likud party, told Newsweek that the Hamas attack “was calculated and directed towards civilians.”
“This unheard-of cruelty has not been seen before,” he said, adding that with its attack, Hamas “has finally proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they do not have a place among civil society.
“It is clear that the State of Israel can no longer tolerate a Palestinian entity in the Gaza Strip. I have no doubt that the attack today will symbolize the end of the independent Palestinian rule in Gaza.”
Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has ordered a complete siege of the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, and “everything is closed,” he said.
Danny Yatom, ex-chief of the Mossad spy agency and politician from Israel’s opposition Labor party told the BBC radio program Today that Israel’s security tactics had “collapsed totally.”
Unnamed Israeli intelligence sources told Reuters that Hamas had “used an unprecedented intelligence tactic to mislead Israel” by giving the impression it was not willing to fight, “while preparing for this massive operation.”