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IDF Hits Over 300 Targets in Gaza

Hundreds of terrorists surrender; IDF destroys ‘Palestine Square.’

Israeli troops operate in the Gaza Strip, Dec. 19, 2023. (Credit: IDF)

Israeli ground, air and naval forces struck more than 300 targets in the Gaza Strip over the past day, causing heavy Hamas casualties and destroying terror infrastructure, the Israel Defense Forces reported on Wednesday morning, Dec. 20.

Paratroopers from the 55th Brigade raided a Hamas “military” headquarters in the terror group’s stronghold of Khan Yunis in the southern Strip, according to the military. During the search, many weapons were found as well as ammunition and explosive charges, including 20 mortar shells.

Also in Khan Yunis, soldiers from the 7th Armored Brigade raided the homes of senior Hamas members, uncovering underground infrastructure, including water and electricity systems.

Moreover, Combat Intelligence Collection Corps soldiers directed an Israeli Air Force aircraft to eliminate an armed terrorist leaving a building carrying a rocket-propelled grenade.

Additionally, an IAF fighter jet destroyed a rocket launching position that was used the previous day to fire at Israeli territory. On Tuesday, a massive rocket barrage was launched at the Tel Aviv area for the first time in a week.

 

Fierce Fighting Continues in Jabalia

Soldiers from the IDF 162nd Division killed hundreds of terrorists in fierce battles in Jabalia in northern Gaza, the IDF said on Tuesday.

“Jabalia is not the Jabalia it used to be,” said the division’s commander Brig. Gen. Itzik Cohen on Tuesday. “We killed hundreds of terrorists in Jabalia and arrested about 500 terror suspects of terrorist activity, some of whom took part in the events of the seventh of October,” he added.

Israeli forces also destroyed terror infrastructure, including training complexes, underground and command and control complexes, and factories for the production of rockets.

“The fighting of the division’s forces resulted in the dismantling of the military capacity of the northern battalion of Gaza City,” continued Cohen. “Thanks to the maneuver, we are operating in the heart of Gaza City with operational freedom. Division 162 will continue its operations in the Gaza Strip until the mission is completed.”

Furthermore, during activities in the Jabalia area, soldiers from the 933rd “Nahal” Brigade and 551st Paratrooper Brigade combat team destroyed a truck carrying long-range rockets installed by Hamas. The rockets were also destroyed.

Additionally, an IAF craft attacked a building in the Jabalia area, killing terrorists who were hiding inside. Another building was struck from which an anti-tank position was suspected to have fired at IDF vehicles.

 

Four More Soldiers Killed In Action in Gaza

The IDF released for publication the names of two more soldiers killed in action in northern Gaza on Monday—Sgt. Maj. (res.) Daniel Yacov Ben Harosh, 31, from Alon; and Capt. (res.) Rotem Yosef Levy, 24, from Orani.

During the morning hours of Wednesday, the IDF released for publication separately the identities of two more soldiers killed in action in Gaza, bringing the death toll since the start of the ground invasion on Oct. 27 to 133.

Capt. (res.) Lior Sivan, 32, from Beit Shemesh, was slain on Tuesday in the southern Gaza Strip.

Maj. (res.) Uriel Cohen, 33, a tank commander in the Givati Brigade from Tzur Hadassah, also died in the south of the Gaza Strip.

A total of 466 soldiers have died since the start of the war on Oct. 7.

 

Islamic Jihad Releases Video Of Two Israeli Hostages

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group on Tuesday released a video of two Israeli hostages, a day after Hamas released a video of three other captives.

The PIJ video shows 79-year-old Gadi Mozes and 47-year-old Elad Katzir pleading for their release. They are unshaven and appear to have lost weight.

“We are dying every moment. We are in an unbearable situation,” says Mozes in the video.

Hamas on Monday published an undated video of three elderly male Israeli hostages kidnapped by the terror group during the Oct. 7 massacre.

The three are identified as Chaim Peri, 79, Amiram Cooper, 84, and Yoram Metzger, 80, all from Kibbutz Nir Oz.

 

1,500 Tunnel Shafts, Underground Passages Exposed

Israeli forces have exposed 1,500 tunnel shafts and underground passages since the start of the war, the IDF said on Tuesday.

“Most of these have been found beneath schools, hospitals, mosques, UN facilities and civilian institutions,” according to the military.

Troops have also located hundreds of Hamas tunnels and are continuing to operate against the underground terror network.

 

IDF Forces Destroy ‘Palestine Square’

Israeli soldiers from the Golani Brigade’s 13th Battalion and the 188th Armored Brigade on Monday destroyed “Palestine Square” in Gaza City’s Shejaia neighborhood, including smashing a Hamas statue commemorating the killing of Golani soldiers during the 2014 Gaza war.

“We are here, the 13th Battalion, at the place where the terrorist organization Hamas erected a statue glorifying the disaster that happened to the battalion in ‘[Operation] Protective Edge.’ We are sending a clear message to Hamas: Wherever such a statue is erected, we will come and destroy it,” said Lt. Col. Yuval Mazoz, the new commander of the 13th Battalion.

Mazoz replaced Lt. Col. Tomer Grinberg, who was killed in a Hamas ambush in Shejaia on Dec. 12 along with eight other soldiers in the deadliest day for Israeli forces since the start of ground operations in Gaza on Oct. 27.

The captured square is where the terror group paraded released hostages several weeks ago.

 

Prominent Hamas Financier Killed in Israeli Strike

Subhi Ferwana, a prominent Hamas financier, was killed in an Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Strip, the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) announced on Tuesday.

“Ferwana was a prominent financier who, together with his brother, was involved in the transfer of tens of millions of dollars to the Hamas terrorist organization and its military wing in the Gaza Strip through their money exchange company, ‘Hamsat,’ over the past few years,” the statement read.

According to the Israeli military, this money was used to finance Hamas’s war activities, including the payment of salaries to terrorists during the fighting.

 

Israeli Forces Continue to Operate Throughout Gaza

Israeli soldiers conducted raids over the past day on terror targets in the Hamas stronghold of Khan Yunis in the southern Strip, the IDF said on Tuesday morning.

Troops killed a terrorist there who had launched anti-tank missiles at them.

Additionally, soldiers located a weapons storage facility containing explosive devices, weapons, grenades and military vests.

An explosive device was found planted in a medical clinic in Shejaia, near a school, according to the IDF. Weapons, including AK-47s, vests and ammunition were also found.

IDF troops also destroyed a tunnel shaft near the coastline in the southern Strip. Following the explosion, a large number of terrorists fled to a compound subsequently hit by an Israeli Air Force fighter jet.

The Israeli Navy also continued to strike terror targets across the Gaza Strip.

Soldiers operating in the Jabalia area of northern Gaza located Hamas sites for the production and storage of munitions, including missiles, the IDF said on Tuesday afternoon.

As part of the activity, soldiers raided the homes of Hamas operatives. In addition to the weapons, Israeli forces also seized maps which included what the military said was a significant tunnel route, intelligence findings and photos of armed children dressed in Hamas uniforms.

During a search of one building, hundreds of missiles and a truck designed for transporting the launchers was found.

 

Hamas Rejects Israeli Hostage-for-Terrorist Deal

Hamas has rejected an Israeli proposal for another hostage-for-terrorist agreement, an Egyptian source told the Qatari-owned newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The Israeli proposal reportedly included the release of female soldiers and some elderly men held hostage in Gaza as a first step. The source said that “the Israeli proposal included the possibility of releasing senior leaders and prominent names from Hamas who spent long periods in Israeli prisons.”

The source also said Hamas’s “military wing” had instructed the terror group’s political leadership to reject any proposal that doesn’t include a ceasefire first, as a “good faith gesture.” According to the source, Hamas is also demanding that any future negotiations include leaders from other Palestinian terrorist factions.

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