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Defense Minister Warns About Israel's Future as Hamas Torments Hostages, Families

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JERUSALEM, Israel – As Israel keeps up its fight against Hamas in the Gaza Strip and against Hezbollah in the north, Israel's defense minister says the nation's future depends on the outcome of this war.

Yoav Gallant said the intensive fighting in the northern Gaza Strip has ended and will soon end in the city of Khan Younis in the southern sector. But the Israeli military will keep attacking to eliminate Hamas capabilities and bring the hostages home.

"The cruel enemy before us understands only force," he cautioned. “If the fire stops, the fate of the abductees will be sealed for many years in the captivity of Hamas. Without military pressure, no one will talk to us, without military pressure we will not be able to reach any agreements. Only from a position of strength can the abductees be freed.”

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Hamas launched dozens of rockets at southern Israeli communities on Tuesday, causing some damage.

Hamas Torments Hostages and Their Families

The terror group marked 100 days of war by releasing a series of videos about three hostages – Itay Svirsky, Yossi Sharabi and Noa Argamani.

Israeli Defense Forces Spokesman Daniel Hagari stated, "26-year-old Noa Argamani was with her friends celebrating peace at the Nova Music festival before being seized by Hamas. The image of Noa on the back of a motorcycle, surrounded by Hamas terrorists, crying out for help, shook the world."

First, Hamas released a video of the three captives, then came a guessing game, followed by another video with one of the three hostages claiming that the other two were killed by Israeli fire.

Hagari asserted, "Hamas is weaponizing social media as an instrument of war. Hamas wages psychological warfare to terrorize and torment the hostages, their families, and the world."

Argami's mother, who has brain cancer, recently appealed for the release of her daughter, so she can see her before she dies.

Deadly Terror Attack Inside Israel

Meanwhile, inside Israel, two terrorists who were illegally working at an Israeli car wash carried out multiple stabbing and car-ramming attacks on Monday in the city of Ra'anana near Tel Aviv.

One woman was killed and 17 others injured, including children, in the attacks, as Israel's cabinet continues to debate whether or not to allow West Bank Palestinians into the country to work.

Regional Threat Grows, Hezbollah Kills 2 Israelis

On the northern front, Israel struck Hezbollah targets Monday. Earlier, a rocket made a direct hit on a home in an agricultural community along that border, killing two Israelis.

Iranian-backed groups continue to use the Gaza war as an excuse to carry out attacks in the region. Media sources report the Iranian Revolutionary Guard launched ballistic missiles that hit an upscale area in Irbil, Iraq, near the U.S. consulate. Four civilians were reportedly killed and six injured.

Iran announced it had launched strikes against what it called Israeli "spy headquarters and the gathering of anti-Iranian terrorist groups."

Earlier, Houthi rebels fired a missile at a U.S.-owned ship off the coast of Yemen, less than a day after they launched an anti-ship cruise missile at an American destroyer in the Red Sea.

"The Yemeni armed forces consider all American and British ships and warships participating in the aggression against our country as hostile targets," declared Houthi Military Spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree.

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About The Author

Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel fulltime for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN – first as a graduate student in Journalism; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. As a correspondent for CBN News, Julie has covered Israel’s wars with Gaza, rocket attacks on Israeli communities, stories on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and