Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a surprise visit to the Gaza Strip during a temporary ceasefire, marking his first visit to the region since the conflict with HAMAS began on October 7.
The main purpose of the visit was to inspect HAMAS tunnels and meet with Israeli military personnel.
Netanyahu reiterated his commitment to continue the military operation until achieving "victory" and "destruction" of HAMAS. He identified three key conflict objectives: the destruction of HAMAS, the return of all Israeli hostages, and preventing future threats from Gaza to Israel.
At the beginning of the conflict, there was a significant event concerning hostages. Reports indicate that HAMAS released hostages, including 14 Israelis and three Thais. This exchange was part of an agreement in which HAMAS released 26 Israelis, 14 Thais, and one Filipino, while Israel released 78 Palestinians.
As a result of the attack and subsequent combat actions with HAMAS, approximately 1,200 people were killed and about 240 hostages were taken. Palestinian authorities reported 14,800 injured, including 40% children.
Also, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) reported the successful elimination of several high-ranking HAMAS leaders, who had been hunted for 15 years.
Among those eliminated were Ahmed Gandur, commander of the northern brigade, Ayman Siam, head of the missile group, Wael Rajab, and Raafat Salman. The IDF targeted Gandur and Siam in the tunnels where they were located, as well as other places where important HAMAS figures were hiding.
Gandur was known for his activities, including participation in the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, and had previously been recognized as a global terrorist. Siam, who led HAMAS's missile group, previously served as their artillery commander.
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