Tel Aviv: The Israel Defence Forces, in a first since the war between Israel and Hamas began, have acknowledged failures that aided Hamas' infiltration and attacks leading to mass killings on Saturday, The Times of Israel reported.

The death toll in Israel since the Hamas attack on October 7 has jumped to 1,300 with nearly 3,300 injured.

"The IDF is responsible for the security of the country and its citizens, and on Saturday morning in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip, we did not handle it. We will learn, we will investigate, but now is the time for war," said IDF chief Herzi Halevi from southern Israel on Thursday.

He said that IDF was fighting Hamas terrorists and would "dismantle their system," according to The Times of Israel.

"We are five days after a murderous, brutal and surprising incident. The slaughter by the murderous Hamas terrorists, the human animals, of our children, our wives and our people, is animalistic, it is inhumane. The IDF is fighting merciless terrorists who have committed unimaginable acts," said the IDF chief, adding, "Yahya Sinwar, the ruler of the Gaza Strip, decided on this horrible attack, and therefore he and the entire system under him are dead men. We will attack them, we will dismantle them, dismantle their system."

Halevi also said that a time will come to investigate how Hamas managed to carry out the attack.

On the estimated 200 Israelis and foreigners held captive by the terror group in the Gaza Strip, Halevi says: "We will do everything to return the hostages back home."

"We are killing many terrorists, many commanders, destroying terror infrastructure that supported this terrible, brutal crime," Halevi added.

"Gaza will not look the same," he said, as reported by The Times of Israel.

Meanwhile, on the ongoing operation against Hamas, the IDF said, "The Flotilla 13 elite unit was deployed to the area surrounding the Gaza security fence in a joint effort to regain control of the Sufa military post on October 7."

The soldiers have rescued around 250 hostages alive, it said, adding that more than 60 Hamas terrorists were neutralised and 26 were apprehended, "including Muhammad Abu A'ali the Deputy Commander of the Hamas Southern Naval Division".

The fate of an estimated 150 people abducted and taken to the Gaza Strip during the attack by Hamas is still unclear, the report said.