Israel Gains Key Intel by Capturing Hundreds of Hamas Terrorists; US Criticizes Israel
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JERUSALEM, Israel – Two months after Hamas's October 7th massacre, the Israeli military is making steady progress in its mission to destroy the terror group.
In a stunning reversal from the Gaza celebrations in October, this week, hundreds of suspected terrorists have been captured.
"Fighters of the IDF and the Shin Bet arrested and interrogated hundreds suspected of involvement in terror activities," stated Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari. "Over the past day, many also surrendered. The intelligence we are gathering during the interrogations serves us during the continuation of the fighting."
The intelligence gathered may well help the IDF know more about the 138 hostages still inside Gaza. The IDF also announced they killed two high-ranking Hamas intelligence terrorists, and that Hamas is reportedly firing rockets out of safe zones.
The military included Khan Younis, the second largest city in the Gaza Strip, as one of its evacuation zones.
Amid the intense fighting, President Joe Biden called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan's King Abdullah to increase humanitarian assistance to Gaza civilians. He emphasized the critical need to protect civilians, provide corridors to safe zones, and separate civilians from Hamas.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, after a meeting with British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, gave his strongest criticism yet of Israel's military operation in Gaza – with Reuters reporting he talked of a gap between Israel's intention to protect civilians and the number of casualties.
Yet, the IDF reports that Hamas is launching rockets from inside humanitarian zones that have been established to give civilians a safe refuge.
Beyond Gaza, more attacks. Early Friday morning, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad came under fire for the first time since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas War.
Also, Prime Minister Netanyahu warned Hezbollah that if it started an all-out war, Israel would turn Beirut and southern Lebanon into Gaza.
While encouraging Israeli troops, Netanyahu said, "We are determined to bring victory, and we will do it with your help."
Shots Fired Outside Synagogue in US
Meanwhile, in Albany, New York, just hours before the beginning of Hanukkah, a man fired a shotgun twice outside a synagogue and shouted, "Free Palestine!"
It's one more sign of increasing concerns about anti-Semitism and terrorism.
"Our police department will ensure that they are continuing to step up patrols. They have been all along, as we have seen a rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric and anti-Semitic actions that have taken place," declared Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.
She added, "And no community is immune; and we take this very seriously, and we will do all that we can to ensure that our Jewish brothers and sisters can celebrate Hanukkah in safety – that they can celebrate Hanukkah with joy with their families, and that we as a community come together and stand with them."
Rabbi Wendy Love Anderson from Temple Israel of Albany expressed gratitude.
"Thank the Albany police for their quick response and everyone who's reached out to us with messages of compassion and sympathy," she said. "After this press conference, we're going to be lighting Hannukah candles because we need light in darkness."
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