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Israel Reportedly Considering Hostage Deal as IDF Strikes Home of Hamas Leader

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JERUSALEM, Israel – As day 41 in the war between Israel and Hamas unfolds, the Israeli military said its fighter jets struck Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh's residence overnight, claiming it was used as terrorist infrastructure to direct attacks against Israel. 

Haniyeh was last seen earlier this month in a video supposedly taken in Qatar. 

Israel has also taken over an area known as the Shati Camp in Gaza, which it says was a key Hamas stronghold. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said its troops struck terrorists and located weapons, including explosive belts, explosive barrels, RPGs and anti-tank missiles.

Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman stated, "We continue to operate deep inside Gaza City in the heart of the terror capital. We are in the depths of the Shati camp, which we are now in control of. Our forces killed many terrorists here, captured many, and destroyed much terror infrastructure."

Meanwhile, Israeli forces are still inside Gaza's Shifa Hospital. Amid questions over whether there was actually a major Hamas center located in the building, IDF Spokesman, Lt. Col. Jonathan ConrIcus, presented the findings of the IDF from within the hospital's MRI center.

"A few of the most interesting things we have found, totally confirm, without any doubt that Hamas systematically uses hospitals, in their military operations, in violation of international law," Conricus said.

He pointed out that all the security cameras had been covered. At an MRI machine, there was a grab-and-go bag of a Hamas combatant 

Conricus described the military equipment discovered there. "There is an AK-47. There are cartridges and ammo. There are grenades in here – of course (a) uniform, and all of this was hidden very conveniently behind the MRI machine." Conricus added, "On the other side we found a backpack with what appears to be very important intelligence, including a laptop."

Conricus debunked reports that the hospital was running out of supplies.  

He noted, "As you can see the rest of the equipment here is proper hospital equipment. Bandages and medical gear. It seems as if there is no real shortage."

In the main hallway, the IDF found more weapons in a cabinet.

These weapons have absolutely no business being inside a hospital," Conricus insisted. "The only reason they’re here is because Hamas put them here, because they used this place, like many other hospitals and ambulances, and sensitive facilities, inside the Gaza Strip for their illicit military purposes."

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Israeli forces also took over the Gaza port after several days of fighting. 

And, as Israelis continue to press for the release of 240 hostages, Hamas has reportedly agreed to a deal to free at least 50 women and children in exchange for a multi-day pause in fighting, an increase in humanitarian aid, and freedom for a number of Palestinian prisoners. 

Now in its second month, the impact of the war in Gaza is being felt throughout the region.

THe IDF military campaign is getting mixed reviews from Israel's regional neighbors. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan keeps increasing his condemnation. 

"(Israel) Is implementing a strategy of total destruction of a city and its people," Erdogan declared. "It is literally carrying out state terrorism with a brutality that deliberately bombs civilians on the road after forcing them to leave their homes. And I now, my heart is at ease, I say openly that Israel is a terrorist state."

Erdogan describes Hamas as "resistance fighters" and wants to see Israel's political and military leaders tried for war crimes. 

On the other end of the spectrum, the United Arab Emirates, a charter nation of the Abraham Accords, stated clear support for the Jewish State. 

Ali Al Nuaimi, the head of the foreign affairs and defense committee in the U.A.E. parliament said:  “From the United Arab Emirates perspective, the Abraham Accords are there to stay. We want everyone to acknowledge and accept that Israel is there to exist"

Going further, Nuaimi said Israel is part of the region's history and should be part of its future.

Many observers believe the move toward adding Saudi Arabia to the Abraham Accords could have been one motivation behind the October 7th Hamas terror attacks.

While the recent Arab summit in Riyadh condemned Israel's military operation, it stopped short of any economic or political punishment through the efforts of Saudi Arabia or the U.A.E. Given the need to rebuild Gaza when the fighting stops, the two nations could be key post-war partners.

With so much attention on Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, international talk is growing concerning what is happening behind the scenes..

Yonah Bob, military correspondent for The Jerusalem Post, told CBN News, "The main master plan, the main person who's pulling all the strings, is Iran. They are the main threat to Israel for the next three years, 25 years."   

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