Photo Credit: Chaim Goldberg / Flash 90
The scene where a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip by Hamas terrorists hit an apartment building in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. October 9, 2023.

The Israeli death toll topped 1,200 on Wednesday, in the Shabbat Simchat Torah massacre in Jewish communities along the Gaza by Hamas that launched the Iranian proxy’s war against the State of Israel.

As of 9 pm Wednesday night, there were nearly 3,000 (2,900) people who have been injured in terrorist shootings, knifings and rocket attacks.

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The US State Department confirmed Wednesday evening that at least 22 Americans died in the weekend bloodbath perpetrated by Hamas; it is not yet clear how many more Americans may have died or been abducted by Hamas and dragged into captivity in Gaza.

The total estimated number of those who were abducted is still not firm: the estimates range from 100 to 150 men, women and children, many of whom were dual citizens and foreign nationals, and ranging in age from infancy to age 85, including elderly Holocaust survivors.

Terrorist infiltrations from Gaza appear to have ceased in the past 24 hours; however, terrorists who previously infiltrated the country still remain.

IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari told reporters in a briefing Wednesday evening that the Gaza Envelope area is “a war zone.” Hagari said tens of thousands of IDF soldiers are continuing to search the communities located near the Gaza border for the presence of terrorists.

“I saw the fighters in the field, I saw the many forces operating in the field; there is no community in the area that does not have IDF soldiers,” he said.

Gaza terrorists led by Hamas have fired more than 5,000 rockets at the Jewish State since the start of the war on Saturday morning. Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center has been hit directly by rockets twice since Saturday, including during an attack on Wednesday.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.