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Relentless Threats to Israel: Like Whack-a-Mole, Hamas Pops Back up in Gaza City

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JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel is now in the ninth month of a two-front war on its northern and southern borders and is making progress against Hamas in the south, but the nation faces a much greater challenge from Hezbollah in the north and its main sponsor, Iran.

Gallant: 60% of Hamas Terrorists Dead or Wounded

Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told the Knesset about the achievements the IDF has made in nine months of fighting against Hamas.

"We eliminated or wounded 60% of the Hamas terrorists. We disbanded the 24 battalions or the vast majority of them. We have returned half of the hostages and we are determined to return the rest," Gallant explained.

Like Whack-a-Mole, They Keep Popping Up

But the problem is that the surviving Hamas terrorists keep moving around.  According to Israeli government spokesman David Mencer, they're often returning to places they were earlier chased out of by the IDF.

"Twenty-four of their battalions, most of them have been smashed," Mencer stated. "But the pieces of those shattered battalions are popping up in different parts of Gaza."

So that means the military must go back and wage war all over again in areas it had once cleared, such as Gaza City, where Israel is calling for all civilians to evacuate as Israeli troops go back in. As Mencer put it, "We want to get civilians out of harm's way.  We have no interest in harming civilians in Gaza City or anywhere else." 

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Thousands of Hezbollah Rockets

On Israel’s northern border, Hezbollah continues to fire drones, missiles, and rockets into northern Israel, thousands launched in the past nine months.

This week, Hezbollah released a video showing its surveillance of Israel’s military sites in northern Israel, including Iron Dome installations. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah stated that if Israel agrees to a ceasefire with Hamas, Hezbollah will cease its fire, but with certain conditions.

In a televised address, Nasrallah stated, “If the Israelis want to continue in southern Lebanon, and attack southern Lebanon, then we too, in a way or not, if we open the front to defend Gaza and the people of Gaza, in a way or not, then we will also defend Lebanon, South Lebanon, our people and our dignity."

Nasrallah suggests if a ceasefire deal is good enough for Hamas, it will be good in his eyes as well. Or as he put it in his address, “What satisfies Hamas, satisfies us all.”

Northern Israeli Communities are Hurting

After being bombarded by thousands of Hezbollah rockets and missiles, most of the communities next to the Lebanese border stand nearly empty. CBN News went up to northern Israel and spoke to Itai Kroiz, the head of Kibbutz Malkiya and the grandson of Holocaust survivors.

Kibbutz Malka at some points is just 200 meters, maybe about 600 feet, from the Lebanese border.  It was once a thriving agricultural community. But now, like dozens of other communities on the Israeli-Lebanese border, Kibbutz Malka is mainly deserted and most of its residents are scattered throughout all of Israel.

Kroiz explains the crucial importance of winning: “We are standing with our back to the wall. For us, this is a war of survival. We have no other place. It's a small country.  We cannot go to another place inside Israel. And so we have no choice. We have to fight for our lives.”

Kroiz warns the world his kibbutz and Israel are at the frontline of a global war, “It's not our personal war. Tomorrow, it can happen anywhere. It means that if we will not stop this terror and these attacks in the Middle East, it can happen everywhere," he stated.  

Kroiz continued, “All these fundamentalists' organizations build themselves an army and then say 'we are one. We want to conquer the world and with power make the world Muslim.  It can happen in France. It can happen in the U.S.A. We saw it happen in the universities in New York.”

Iran Isn't Just a Danger to Israel

Meanwhile, at a NATO summit in Washington, Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz called on NATO members to take strong action against Iran, the powerful sponsor of both Hezbollah and Hamas.

Israel Katz pointed out that the jihadist regime of Iran wants to destroy the West as much as it wants to wipe out Israel.

As he put it in a tweet on X, "Iran is a common threat to Israel, NATO and to Europe.  We must stop Iran now before it's too late."

Bombs Away

The Biden administration says it's begun shipping some of those bombs it earlier refused to hand over to Israel. The White House claimed that refusal was to prevent the heavy bombs being used on civilians in Gaza.  

But with a possible war looming against more powerful, more dug-in Hezbollah forces in Lebanon, Israel needs all the heavy firepower it can get.

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About The Author

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief In a time where the world's attention is riveted on events in the Middle East, CBN viewers have come to appreciate Chris Mitchell's timely reports from this explosive region of the world. Mitchell brings a Biblical and prophetic perspective to these daily news events that shape our world. Chris first began reporting on the Middle East in the mid-1990s. He repeatedly traveled there to report on the religious and political issues facing Israel and the surrounding Arab states. One of his more significant reports focused on the emigration of persecuted Christians

About The Author


As a freelance reporter for CBN's Jerusalem bureau and during 27 years as senior correspondent in CBN's Washington bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, government, and God’s providential involvement in our world. Strand began his tenure at CBN News in 1985 as an evening assignment editor in Washington, D.C. After a year, he worked with CBN Radio News for three years, returning to the television newsroom to accept a position as a senior editor in 1990. Strand moved back to the nation's capital in 1995 and then to