The New Year began with rocket attacks by Hamas in Israel and shelling by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip. Journalists from the AFP news agency reported that the attacks on southern Israel and the city of Tel Aviv began at exactly midnight (10 p.m. local time, CET). According to Palestinian sources, at least 24 people were killed in an overnight attack by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli military confirmed rocket attacks from Tel Aviv and the Gaza Strip in the country's south, but initially did not provide any information on possible casualties or damage. According to AFP reporters, the missiles were intercepted by an anti-aircraft system in Tel Aviv.
Hamas has claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks
Many people thronged the streets to celebrate the New Year and tried to get to safety. Hamas' military wing, the Essedin al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the attacks in a video posted on online networks.
Dozens died in Gaza
At least 35 people were killed in Israeli strikes in Gaza yesterday, according to Palestinian sources. According to reports from the Palestinian news agency WAFA, former Palestinian minister Sheikh Youssef Salama was also killed. An Israeli military spokesman said he could not comment without proper coordination of the incident.
Israel: Hamas commander killed in October 7 attack
Meanwhile, the Israeli military said it killed a Hamas commander in the Gaza Strip who allegedly played a key role in terrorist attacks on Israeli border towns on October 7. The commander of the “Nukba” (English: Elite) unit in Deir al-Bala in the central Gaza Strip was killed in an airstrike, the Israeli military said. Initially there was no reaction from Hamas.
A military statement said the commander “commanded Hamas terrorists who carried out a brutal attack on Kibbutz Kisufim” on October 7. He also led raiders to other border towns like Biri and Nirim. Even after the October 7 massacre, he fought against Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip.
According to its own reports, the army discovered additional tunnels and a weapons cache at a kindergarten in the Gaza Strip. According to the United Nations, 85 percent of the 2.4 million people living in the Gaza Strip have fled because of the fighting. The risk of disease and famine is increasing.