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IDF Destroys Hamas Stronghold in Heavy Fighting as Iran Proxies Boast about Missile Prowess

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JERUSALEM, Israel – The Israeli Defense Forces announced Tuesday they had secured a central Hamas stronghold in the Jabaliya refugee area that served as a training center for the October 7th massacre.

Israel said the operation included a combined air strike and ground troops who killed a number of Hamas terrorists in face-to-face combat – including one of the masterminds of the October 7th attack.

A Gaza hospital director said the strike also killed and wounded many civilians when buildings collapsed along with parts of Hamas's underground tunnel complex.

The I.D.F. said Hamas is using civilians as human shields.

According to the I.D.F., 12 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the fighting so far, nine when their armored personnel carrier was struck by an anti-tank missile.

Meanwhile, the military's Arrow air defense system successfully intercepted a ballistic missile aimed at Israel in its first operational use.

Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, armed with a large arsenal of surface-to-surface missiles, took responsibility for the attack.

A Houthi military spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, declared, “This operation is the third operation to support our oppressed brothers in Palestine and confirm that they will continue to carry out more qualitative strikes with missiles and drones until the Israeli aggression stops.“

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From Lebanon, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah also released a cryptic video pointing to a speech that will be delivered on Friday. Some speculate this could be the terror group's declaration of war.   

And in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued his rhetoric against Israel, saying, "We will work to prosecute Israel for the crimes it commits in Gaza – Israel must be stopped as soon as possible because it is no longer acting as a state but as an organization. Israel is committing a war crime and must be held accountable before the law."

Due to the rise in global anti-Semitism, Israeli President Isaac Herzog called Tuesday for all nations to protect and support their Jewish populations. 

"This is a message that must be heard loud and clear: when they say from the (Jordan) River to the (Mediterranean) Sea, they say without any Jews. When they demonstrate on campuses against Israel, that means without Jews. When they criticize Israel – fighting for its defending its people and fighting against the most brutal attack that humanity has seen in last generation – they mean no Jews," Herzog proclaimed.

He added, "This is a fight not only against Israel, it's a fight against anti-Semites all over the world, and we are here to strengthen our brothers and sisters of Jewish communities all over the world. Hamas, al-Qaeda, and ISIS are all there together, wishing to ban us all from the face of the Earth, and if it starts with Israel – and if it starts with the Jews – it will never end there. Europe will be next. And that is why we are fighting a battle on behalf of the entire world.”

The Pentagon announced Tuesday that U.S. Special Forces stationed in Israel are helping the I.D.F. locate hostages and American citizens held in the Gaza Strip.

A Hamas spokesman said Tuesday the group will release some of the foreign hostages as the mother of Israeli soldier Ori Megidish addressed the press for the first time.

She said, "Dear people of Israel, we thank everyone for their prayers and support. Our Ori came back home. And now our prayers are with the rest of the abducted and missing, and our hearts are with all the families. Thank you, Creator, there's none above You!” 

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