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Israel 'Dismantles' Hamas Command Structure In North Gaza, Shifts "Focus" To South


Jerusalem:

The Israeli army said on Saturday it had "completed the dismantling" of Hamas's command structure in the northern Gaza Strip.

"We have completed the dismantling of the Hamas military framework in the northern Gaza Strip," army spokesperson Daniel Hagari told reporters.

He added that Palestinian militants were now operating in the area only sporadically and "without commanders".


"Now the focus is on dismantling Hamas in the centre of the Gaza Strip and in the south of the Gaza Strip," he said, while acknowledging that the task will take time.

Israel vowed to crush Gaza's Hamas rulers after they carried out the deadliest attack in the country's history on October 7.

It resulted in the deaths of around 1,140 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

The militants also took around 250 hostages, 132 of whom remain in captivity, according to Israel.

Israel responded by bombarding the territory and sending in ground forces, killing at least 22,722 people, most of them women and children, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.

Speaking about military efforts to dismantle Hamas in the central and southern Gaza Strip, Hagari said "we will do it in a different way" without elaborating.

"The refugee camps in the central Gaza Strip are crowded and full of terrorists," he said.

In the south, the large urban landscape of Khan Yunis has an elaborate underground network of tunnels, he said. 

"It takes time."

Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government had directed the army to "eliminate Hamas", return all the hostages and ensure that Gaza will "never again be a threat to Israel".



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