Israel claims dismantling of Hamas units in northern Gaza as deaths in enclave pass 22,800

More than 10 children per day, on average, have lost one or both of their legs in Gaza since conflict began, according to Save The Children

As the war in Gaza entered its fourth month, the Israeli military announced it has completed dismantling Hamas military units in northern Gaza, after killing some 8,000 militants in the area.

Isolated pockets of resistance remain but, according to the Israeli army, the Hamas fighters there no longer work under an organised military command.

The Israeli assault is now focused on militants in the refugee camps in central Gaza and the southern city of Khan Younis, where the Hamas leadership in Gaza is believed to be hiding in tunnels.

Some of the 136 hostages are also believed to be held in Hamas captivity in both these areas.


According to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza more than 22,800 Palestinians have been killed in the war. Some 1,200 Israelis, most of them civilians, were killed when heavily-armed Hamas gunmen crossed into 22 Israeli communities in southern Israel on October 7th. 240 people were also seized and taken to Gaza.

More than 10 children per day, on average, have lost one or both of their legs in Gaza since the conflict erupted three months ago, according to the NGO, Save the Children.

“I’ve seen doctors and nurses completely overwhelmed when children come in with blast wounds. The impact of seeing children in that much pain and not having the equipment, medicines to treat them or alleviate pain is too much for even experienced professionals,” said Jason Lee, Save the Children’s Country Director for the occupied Palestinian territory.

Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu told ministers at a weekly cabinet meeting that there will be no let-up in the fighting.

“The war must not be stopped until we complete all of its goals – the elimination of Hamas, the return of all our hostages and the promise that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel. I say this to both our enemies and our friends. ”

He also referred to the fighting on Israel’s northern border, saying: “I suggest that Hizbullah learn what Hamas has already learned in recent months: no terrorist is immune.”

US secretary of state Antony Blinken arrives in Israel on Monday in the latest stage of his regional tour. His top priority is to prevent the cross-border attacks between Israel and the Iranian-backed Hizbullah escalating into all-out war.

Saturday saw a further deterioration with Hizbullah firing some 50 rockets, causing extensive damage to a strategic Israeli military base close to the border. Israel responded with attacks at Hizbullah infrastructure targets, some of them 40km north of the border.

The Washington Post reported that US officials suspect Mr Netanyahu will try to escalate the fighting against Hizbullah in Lebanon in order to stay longer in power.

Jordan’s King Abdullah warned Mr Blinken of the “catastrophic repercussions” of the continuation of Israel’s war in Gaza in a meeting on Sunday, urging Washington to apply pressure on Israel to agree to an immediate ceasefire.

The weekend also saw renewed violence in the West Bank.

Seven Palestinians were killed in an Israeli air strike in the West Bank city of Jenin overnight Saturday. The military said it attacked ‘terrorists’ but sources in Jenin said those targeted, who included four brothers, had been unarmed. An Israeli border police officer was killed during the Jenin incursion.

In a separate incident, a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem was shot and killed by suspected Palestinian gunmen in the northern West Bank.

Separately, a 3-year-old Palestinian toddler was killed when Israeli border police opened fire at a Palestinian driver who drove into people at a checkpoint north of Jerusalem. The driver was also shot and killed in the incident.

Mark Weiss

Mark Weiss

Mark Weiss is a contributor to The Irish Times based in Jerusalem