The bodies of some captives kidnapped by Hamas militants were discovered during operations inside Gaza this week, according to the Israeli military.
“We have found and located some bodies in the perimeter in the Gaza Strip of Israelis that were abducted,” a military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, told a briefing.
According to Israel, at least 120 persons were kidnapped when Hamas fighters conducted attacks within Israel on October 7 that killed at least 1,300 people.
Since then, the Israeli military has conducted “localized” raids within Gaza to support an air assault on the territory that the Hamas leadership claims has killed at least 2,215 people.
According to Lerner, the bodies of captives were discovered during these “small, close-perimeter raids into the Gaza Strip.”
According to the spokesman, the Israeli military has carried out air attacks on thousands of Hamas sites in Gaza.
“They include quality targets such as drone facilities, they include naval facilities, they include command and control facilities, they include all of the rocket facilities,” Lerner said.
“Our assessment suggests that at this time Hamas are in a state of disarray, they have no idea what the situation is above ground, they have escaped into the tunnels.”
Government officials also indicated that more time would be given for civilians to leave the north of the territory ahead of an expected full-scale ground offensive.
Lerner did not say there is a deadline to leave north Gaza, but told the briefing: “We have extended once again because we realised that there is a huge amount of people that need to get out. We are continuing to encourage the population in the north of the Gaza Strip and Gaza City to go south and get out of harm’s way.”
Foreign ministry spokesman Lior Haiat told the briefing that Israel is not demanding that Palestinians leave Gaza but just to get out of the north.
“We gave them (civilians) the time to do so and we will continue to give civilians time to leave the places that we think Hamas is using for its terrorist infrastructure,” Haiat said.