Jerusalem: Israel's army declared on Monday that its forces were in "control of communities" in its southern territory near Gaza, two days after Hamas fighters launched a surprise attack there. "We are in control of the communities," military spokesman Daniel Hagari told journalists, adding however that there still might be Hamas fighters in the area. "We have fully evacuated 15 communities out of the 24 that are adjacent to the border." Hagari said Israeli forces were expected to complete the evacuation "within the next 24 hours". There were "4,400 launches at Israel," Hagari said, referring to the barrage of rockets that Hamas has fired into Israel since launching the assault at dawn on Saturday. Hagari said 300,000 army reservists had been called up. At least 700 people have been killed in Israel after hundreds of Hamas militants stormed across the Gaza border. In response Israeli army has launched intense air strikes on the Palestinian enclave which has so far killed at least 493 people.
Israel army says it is in 'control' of attacked areas
Israeli army soldiers are positioned with their Merkava tanks near the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel on October 9, 2023.