Israel-Gaza updates: IDF says it's 'dismantled' Hamas' military framework

The IDF gave an assessment Sunday of the first three months of the war.

Last Updated: January 8, 2024, 10:39 AM EST

More than a month after a temporary cease-fire between Hamas and Israel ended, Israel continues its bombardment of Gaza.

The end of the cease-fire came after Hamas freed over 100 of the more than 200 people its militants took hostage during the Oct. 7 surprise attack on Israel. In exchange, Israel released more than 200 Palestinians from Israeli prisons.

Click here for updates from previous days.

Mar 01, 2024, 6:03 AM EST

What we know about the conflict

The latest outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that governs the Gaza Strip, has passed the four-month mark.

In the Gaza Strip, at least 30,228 people have been killed and 71,377 others have been wounded by Israeli forces since Oct. 7, according to Gaza's Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health.

In Israel, at least 1,200 people have been killed and 6,900 others have been injured by Hamas and other Palestinian militants since Oct. 7, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

There has also been a surge in violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Israeli forces have killed at least 395 people in the territory since Oct. 7, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

The ongoing war began after Hamas-led militants launched an unprecedented incursion into southern Israel from neighboring Gaza via land, sea and air. Scores of people were killed while more than 200 others were taken hostage, according to Israeli authorities. The Israeli military subsequently launched retaliatory airstrikes followed by a ground invasion of Gaza, a 140-square-mile territory where more than 2 million Palestinians have lived under a blockade imposed by Israel and supported by Egypt since Hamas came to power in 2007. Gaza, unlike Israel, has no air raid sirens or bomb shelters.

Jan 07, 2024, 8:39 PM EST

Blinken expresses concern about a wider conflict during Middle East visit

Residents of Al Nuseirat and Al Bureij refugee camps evacuate during Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip, Jan. 4 2024.
Mohammed Saber/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Such fighting would "cause even more insecurity and suffering," Blinken told reporters in Doha, Qatar, alongside Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

Blinken is roughly halfway through a nine-stop tour around the Middle East, his fourth diplomatic mission since the war began after Hamas' Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel killed 1,200.

Looking ahead to his meetings with Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv and the West Bank set for early this week, Blinken said Sunday, "I will also raise the imperative of doing more to prevent civilian casualties. Far too many Palestinians, innocent Palestinians, have already been killed."

People mourn over the shrouded bodies of loved ones killed during Israeli bombardment as they lie at al-Najjar hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Jan. 5, 2024.
AFP via Getty Images

The secretary of state, like other U.S. officials including President Joe Biden, have sought to stress their support for Israel's retaliatory operations against Hamas while calling for Israel to do as much as possible to curb civilian casualties in light of the ongoing onslaught in Gaza and high death toll.

Jan 07, 2024, 2:52 PM EST

International Rescue Committee withdraws from Gaza's Al Aqsa hospital

The International Rescue Committee and Medical Aid for Palestine (MAP) said Sunday they were "forced to withdraw and cease activities" at Gaza's Al Aqsa hospital "as a result of increasing Israeli military activity" around the medical facility.

The Israeli military has dropped leaflets designating areas surrounding the hospital as a "red zone," the relief organizations said in a statement.

"Given the recent history of attacks on medical staff and facilities in Gaza, the team is unable to return," the statement said. "Many local health workers have also been unable to access the hospital to care for the hundreds of patients that remain due to the conflict."

A MAP staff member is currently a patient at the hospital after she was injured and her three sisters were killed in an Israeli bombing of a house they were staying in, according to the statement.

ABC News reached out to the Israel Defense Forces for comment.

Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also said Sunday it was evacuating its staff and families from the neighborhoods around the Al Aqsa hospital.

-ABC News' Zoe Magee

Jan 07, 2024, 1:43 PM EST

IDF says it has completed the 'dismantling of Hamas' military framework'

The Israel Defense Forces claimed on Sunday that it has "completed the dismantling of Hamas' military framework" in the northern Gaza Strip, hitting hundreds of targets and taking out key leaders of the terrorist group.

In an assessment of the first three months of the war between Israel and Hamas, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, an IDF spokesperson, said Israeli forces have met their goals through airstrikes, ground operations and intelligence gathering in the primary objective of eliminating Hamas.

Members of Unit 669 of the Israeli Air Force carrying an injured Israeli soldier to a waiting helicopter for evacuation in the Gaza Strip, Jan. 4, 2024.
Israeli Defense Forces/AFP via Getty Image

He said the IDF's efforts in northern Gaza have included a relentless barrage of missile strikes, most of them targeting Jabaliya, the onetime stronghold of Hamas. In Jabaliya alone, Hagari said IDF airstrikes had hit 670 targets before ground forces entered the area and another 300 targets after ground troops moved in and helped direct precision airstrikes.

"In these strikes in the Jabaliya area, we eliminated the battalion commander, the deputy brigade commanders, and 11 company commanders leading the terrorists in the field," Hagari said during a news conference.

An Israeli tank moves near the border with Gaza Strip, Jan. 5, 2024, in Southern Israel.
Amir Levy/Getty Images

Among the Hamas commanders eliminated was Ahmad Randor, Hagari said, showing what he said was a photograph of Randor sitting with his command echelon in a bunker 40 meters, or about 131 feet, underground.

"We have completed the dismantling of Hamas' military framework in the northern Gaza Strip and will continue to deepen the achievement, strengthening the barrier and the defense components along the security fence," Hagari said.

Since the war started, IDF forces have located and destroyed 40,000 weapons across the Gaza Strip, some of which were found in schools, hospitals, mosques, and even under the beds of children, Hagari said. In Jabaliya, IDF troops also infiltrated about 5 miles of tunnels and more than 40 tunnel shafts leading to Hamas' northern headquarters and retrieved the bodies of five hostages, according to Hagari.

"Hamas no longer operates in an organized manner in this area. We have deprived it of its main terror capabilities in the region," Hagari said.

He noted that while there are still terrorists in the Jabaliya area, "they now operate without a framework and without commanders."

-ABC News' Jordana Miller

Jan 06, 2024, 3:17 PM EST

Blinken voices 'real concern' over Israel-Lebanon tensions

While taking questions on the tarmac in Greece before heading to Jordan in his latest round of Middle East shuttle diplomacy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken wouldn't reveal diplomatic conversations on the latest flareup in northern Israel, where Hezbollah missiles struck early Saturday, but said the U.S. is "actively working" on the issue.

"One of the areas of real concern is the border between Israel and Lebanon," he said, pointing to the "tens of thousands forced from their homes in northern Israel."

"We are looking at ways diplomatically to try to defuse that challenge, that tension, so that people can return to their homes, that they can live in peace and security," Blinken said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, as part of the first leg of a trip that includes visits to both Israel and West Bank, at the Prime Minister's Residence in Crete, on Jan. 6, 2024.
Evelyn Hockstein/POOL via AFP via Getty Images

Blinken said the broad priorities of his trip include "preventing this conflict from spreading," to "maximize the protection for civilians, maximize humanitarian assistance, getting it to them, and also to get hostages out of Gaza," and paving the way for a postwar, "Palestinian-led" Gaza.

He also praised U.S.-Greek cooperation, pointing to the Greeks' help in Operation Prosperity Guardian to keep the Red Sea safe amid increasing Houthi attacks on commercial vessels.

"I can't think of a time when the partnership, the friendship between our countries has been stronger," he said.

-ABC News' Chris Boccia

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