Around ‘1,500 bodies’ of Hamas Fighters Found in Israel

Israeli soldiers take combat positions near the border with Gaza (AP)
Israeli soldiers take combat positions near the border with Gaza (AP)
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Around ‘1,500 bodies’ of Hamas Fighters Found in Israel

Israeli soldiers take combat positions near the border with Gaza (AP)
Israeli soldiers take combat positions near the border with Gaza (AP)

Israel's army has "more or less restored control" over the Gaza border and has found more than 1,500 bodies of Hamas militants in Israel near the border, according to military spokesman Richard Hecht.

"Approximately 1,500 bodies of Hamas militants were found in Israel around the Gaza Strip," said Hecht, adding that security forces had "more or less restored control over the border" with Gaza, AFP reported.

"Since last night we know that no one came in ... but infiltrations can still happen," he said.

The army had "nearly completed" evacuation of all the communities around the border, Hecht added.

Meanwhile, Israel is planting mines in the parts where the barrier was toppled, the chief military spokesperson said on Tuesday.

In remarks aired by Israel's Army Radio, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said there had been no new infiltrations from Gaza since Monday. In an apparent response to rumours that gunmen used cross-border tunnels, he said the military had no such findings.

Also, Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed US support for Israel in a call with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, the State Department said in a statement early Tuesday.

Blinken "reaffirmed our efforts to secure the immediate release of all hostages", the statement said.

I spoke with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen about how the US is supporting Israel as it "defends itself against Hamas’ terrorist attack and reaffirmed efforts to secure the immediate release of all hostages."

Blinken also spoke with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, reiterating their condemnation of Hamas's attacks on Israel, the department said in a separate statement.



Israel Bombs Gaza after US Criticizes High Civilian Toll

Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed
Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed
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Israel Bombs Gaza after US Criticizes High Civilian Toll

Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed
Palestinians inspect at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in the central Gaza Strip, July 16, 2024. REUTERS/Ramadan Abed

Israel renewed its bombardment of the Gaza Strip Tuesday, after the United States renewed its criticism of its ally over the high civilian casualty toll of the war.

Residents told AFP of Israeli warplanes striking central Gaza and artillery fire hitting the territory's south, while medics said they pulled multiple bodies from the rubble of the latest bombardment.

Hours earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told two top Israeli officials that casualties among Palestinian civilians "still remain unacceptably high".

"We continue to see far too many civilians killed in this conflict," spokesman Matthew Miller said after Blinken meth Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi.

Washington has been pushing for a truce between Israel and Hamas.

But Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh said Sunday that the group was pulling out of indirect talks for a deal in protest at recent Israeli "massacres", including a massive strike on Sunday that the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said killed at least 92 people.

Haniyeh said Hamas stood ready to return to the indirect talks once Israel "demonstrates seriousness in reaching a ceasefire agreement and a prisoner exchange deal".

After the latest deadly strikes, medics from the Palestinian Red Crescent said they recovered four bodies from a house outside the southern city of Khan Yunis and another from Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza.

The Israeli military said that over the previous 24 hours its air force struck "approximately 40 terror targets" in Gaza. They included "sniping posts, observation posts, Hamas military structures, terror infrastructure, and buildings rigged with explosives".

It said its troops were also continuing targeted raids in the far-southern city of Rafah and in the central Gaza Strip.