Hamas: We have full control of Gaza border – Israeli military



The Israeli military early on Tuesday said it had retaken full control of the border with Gaza.


This occurred after Hamas militants breached defences at the weekend and went on a rampage through nearby communities, leaving hundreds of Israelis dead.


Richard Hecht, a spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), said no militant had entered from the Gaza Strip since Monday night but that there could still be some Palestinian attackers on the move inside Israel.


Hecht said the bodies of 1,500 militants had been found in Israeli territory so far and that hundreds of other attackers had been captured.


He, however, cautioned that the exchanges of fire that had taken place in areas along the border since Hamas’ surprise multi-pronged assault on Israel on Saturday have still continued, NAN reports.


Clashes have taken place in recent hours in the communities of Sa’ad and Kissufim in the Negev desert, near the Gaza Strip.


Israel has meanwhile continued its relentless retaliatory airstrikes on the territory.


Since Saturday, some 900 people have been killed in Israel by Hamas fighters, and more than 2,600 others injured, according to the Israeli Health Ministry.


According to the Health Ministry, Massive Israeli counter-attacks have killed at least 687 people and injured more than 3,800 in the Gaza Strip.


Israel called up about 300,000 reservists on Monday ahead of a potential ground invasion of the densely populated Palestinian enclave.


“We are now concentrating on our offensive in Gaza,’’ Hecht said, adding that the military has set up what it describes as ’’infrastructure for future operations.”


“What Hamas will face will be harsh and terrible,’’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said early on Monday evening. “We are only at the beginning.’’

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