Tel Aviv (AFP) – Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant says Hamas has “lost control” of the Gaza Strip it has ruled for 16 years. “Terrorists are fleeing southward. Civilians are looting Hamas bases,” he says without providing evidence, in a video broadcast on Israel’s main TV stations. On 7 October Hamas launched an attack on southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians and taking 239 hostages, according to Israel. Since then Israeli bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip has killed more than 11,000 people, also mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.