ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 145

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Palestinian in West Bank killed by Gaza rocket

2 people killed in Hamas rocket strike on south, as IDF targets ‘terror nest’ in Gaza

Army says it killed Hamas’s minister of economy and another senior official in terror group; 4 terrorists taken out by IDF along Zikim beach; missile barrages from Strip continue

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Scenes of destruction in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, near the Gaza border, October 10, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Scenes of destruction in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, near the Gaza border, October 10, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Two people were killed in a Hamas rocket strike in the southern Eshkol region on Tuesday afternoon, while the IDF continued to pound sites in Gaza as the terror group fired volleys of missiles into Israel.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said two foreign workers in their 30s were declared dead at the scene of the rocket strike in Eshkol, where many agricultural laborers are based. A third foreign worker, also in his 30s, was airlifted to a hospital in serious condition.

Shortly after the deadly rocket impact, Hamas fired a barrage of rockets toward the center of Israel, setting off sirens in Tel Aviv, Rishon Lezion, Ashdod and elsewhere, with the terror group claiming it was targeting the nearby Ben Gurion Airport. No immediate damage or injuries were reported in that volley.

At 5 p.m., Hamas launched a barrage of rockets at the southern coastal city of Ashkelon, after it had earlier warned it would do so and threatened civilians to leave in time. A 54-year-old woman was moderately hurt in a rocket which fell in Ashkelon, paramedics said.

Shortly afterward, Ali Muhammad Elyan, a young Palestinian from the West Bank town of Baqa al-Sharqiya, north of Tulkarem, was killed from a missile launched from the Gaza Strip that struck the village.

Meanwhile, the IDF continued its major airstrikes across Gaza, including a wave of attacks on a neighborhood of Gaza City, targeting more than 100 sites. The IDF said the neighborhood, dubbed by the army al-Furqan after a mosque in the area, is a “nest of terror” used by Hamas to launch attacks against Israel. Dozens of fighter jets participated in the strikes, the IDF added.

A view of the rubble of buildings hit by an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, October 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Separately, the IDF said it hit an underground tunnel for smuggling weapons and equipment in the Rafah area, on the Egypt-Gaza border.

The IDF also said Tuesday that it had killed Hamas’s minister of economy and another senior member of Hamas’s politburo in drone strikes in the Gaza Strip Monday night.

The military said that Jawad Abu Shamala managed the terror group’s funds, “and earmarked funds for financing and directing terror in and and outside the Gaza Strip.” Zakariya Abu Moammar, it said, was the head of the terror group’s internal relations, and a “senior Hamas decision-maker and coordinator between terror groups in the Gaza Strip.”

The IDF said Abu Moammar was a confidant to Hamas’s Gaza chief, Yahya Sinwar, and part of the terror group’s “senior forum, involved in the organization’s decision-making and the planning of numerous terror activities against the State of Israel.”

An IDF soldier prepares to remove the bodies of Israelis killed during an October 7, 2023, attack by Palestinian terrorists, in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, in southern Israel bordering the Gaza Strip, on October 10, 2023. (Jack Guez/AFP)

The head of COGAT, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, addressed a message to Gazan residents and Hamas leadership on Tuesday afternoon, lambasting Palestinian popular support for the terror group.

In a video statement, Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian said: “Kidnapping, abusing and murdering children, women and elderly people is not human. There is no justification for that. Hamas has turned into IS, and the residents of Gaza, instead of being appalled, are celebrating.”

Alian added that “human animals must be treated as such. There will be no electricity and no water [in Gaza], there will only be destruction. You wanted hell, you will get hell.”

Meanwhile, new footage emerged Tuesday from Hamas’s murderous attack on southern Israel on Saturday, showing terrorists infiltrating into the southern kibbutz of Be’eri.

Surveillance camera video showed how two terrorists arrived at the entrance to Be’eri but were initially unable to break through the security barrier. They hid on the side of the road in a booth usually manned by a security guard, and ambushed a car driving into the town.

The two terrorists killed the occupants of the car as the security gate opened, then successfully breached the community. The bodies of more than 100 Israelis were later found in the town.

Also Tuesday afternoon, the IDF confirmed that it had killed four terrorists on the Zikim beach just north of Gaza.

The military said members of its elite Maglan unit spotted four armed men in the area and were directed by other forces to their exact location. The Maglan troops “exchanged fire with the terrorists in the area and eliminated them,” the IDF said.

The military says that no terrorists have managed to infiltrate into Israel from Gaza since Monday, but some still remain in Israeli territory from Saturday’s mass invasion.

Throughout Tuesday, the IDF said later in the evening, at least nine Hamas terrorists were killed in Israeli territory, including a terrorist killed near Sa’ad, four terrorists killed near Zikim, two killed near Sderot, and another two killed near Re’im.

Israeli soldiers take position on a main road near the Israel-Gaza border in southern Israel, October 10, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

At least 900 Israelis — and some foreign nationals — were slaughtered by Hamas after its men stormed into southern Israel and opened fire at a music festival and in numerous border towns. Bodies are still being located and collected and the death toll is expected to rise.

The Health Ministry said that more than 2,800 people in Israel have been wounded since Saturday morning at the start of the cross-border attack by Hamas. While many have been discharged, there were 535 injured people still being treated in hospitals around the country as of Tuesday afternoon, many of them in critical condition.

The Hamas-run health ministry said that 770 Palestinians have been killed and another 4,000 have been wounded in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.

The Israel Defense Forces has said it has killed some 1,500 Palestinian terrorists who crossed into Israeli territory.

The body of a Hamas terrorist lies on the ground in Kibbutz Kfar Aza on Oct. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Around 150 Israelis and foreign nationals are believed to be held captive by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza after they were snatched by terrorists on Saturday.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday that the issue of prisoner exchanges will only be tackled after the end of the war. In a statement, the terror group leader said that “parties that have contacted us” offering mediation for a hostage release through a prisoner swap have been informed of the decision. Israel has repeatedly denied that it is engaged in Qatar- or Egyptian-brokered talks aimed at releasing the hostages.

Haniyeh also praised Gazans’ endurance and willingness to sacrifice themselves for the Palestinian cause, and said that the “destruction” currently carried out by the Israeli army in Gaza in retaliation strikes is a reflection of the “shame of its defeat.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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