Hamas begins the new year by firing rocket fire at Israeli civilians, Netanyahu makes a prediction

Hamas begins the new year by firing rocket fire at Israeli civilians, Netanyahu makes a prediction

JERUSALEM, Israel – As the world approaches 2024, the war between Israel and Hamas entered its 87th day, with more fighting along Israel's northern border and in the Gaza Strip and with appeals from the Israeli president for international help in releasing the hostages held by Hamas.

Hamas marked the start of the new year with heavy rocket fire aimed at Tel Aviv and other parts of central and southern Israel. The rockets were intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome or hit open areas.

Netanyahu predicts many more months of war

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the nation, saying Israel was fighting on all fronts and that it would take many more months to secure victory.

“We will continue to fight until the war goals are achieved, especially the elimination of Hamas and the release of all our hostages,” he said. “We are not relenting in our efforts to bring our hostages home, even at this moment – ​​not even for a moment. We will ensure that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel and that there is no element there that finances terrorism, raises its children for terrorism and pays the families of terrorists.”

Over the weekend, Israel continued its ground and air operations against terrorists in the northern, central and southern Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu says every soldier and citizen he speaks to says the same thing: “Keep going.”

He said of the soldiers: “They fight with violence and new methods, above and below ground. This is a very complex fight, but we have the upper hand.”

Israel Defense Forces said its troops were fighting fierce battles against the terrorists. In one case, Hamas operatives hid among civilians while firing on Israel. In another case, the IDF said it found a kindergarten where Hamas had placed explosive devices in anticipation of Israeli troops.

Israel said Monday it had eliminated a Hamas commander who led the perpetrators of the Oct. 7 attack and later led battles against Israeli soldiers.

The prime minister claimed that Israel has killed more than 8,000 terrorists so far and is fighting on more fronts.

Iran's proxies – Hezbollah and Houthis – attack Israel

From southern Lebanon, Hezbollah continued its attacks against northern Israel over the weekend, and Israel hit back hard, attacking villages from which Hezbollah fired its rockets.

IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters: “Hezbollah has turned the southern villages of southern Lebanon into a combat zone. For Hezbollah, the residents of southern Lebanon, like Hamas, play no role. You are a human shield for them. We will continue to strike in Lebanon, in southern Lebanon, wherever Hezbollah is carrying out terror against us; they will encounter significant and powerful attacks.”

Netanyahu announced that he had spoken with leaders about a coalition to protect international shipping from drone attacks by the Iran-backed Houthis in the Red Sea.

U.S. Navy helicopters sank three boats crewed by Houthi rebels that were attacking a ship, then fired on the helicopters in the Red Sea. The battle is the latest involving the Houthis on a key shipping route and is linked to the Gaza conflict through Iranian support for the Houthis.

“As for Iran, Iran is leading the axis of evil and aggression against us on various fronts. This aggression is directed not only against Israel, but against the entire free world,” Netanyahu said.

On Sunday, Israeli buildings lit up with a message calling for the release of Hamas abductees, and Israeli President Isaac Herzog issued a message X (formerly Twitter) – a New Year's appeal to world leaders in multiple languages ​​to remember and support the hostages.

“As we enter 2024,” Herzog wrote, “I call on the entire family of nations and all world leaders to demand and advocate for the immediate, unconditional release of our 133 hostages.” Babies, the elderly, women and Men are brutally held captive by Hamas, without essential medicine or visits from the Red Cross. Your immediate release is at the core of our fight against Hamas terrorists in Gaza. May the light dispel the darkness and may the new year bring peace, hope and healing to all.”

Hostage families also posted short video greetings asking to be remembered during New Year's celebrations.

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Source: www2.cbn.com

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