update deskIsrael at War

IDF: 600 terrorists detained, 140-plus killed at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital

Several Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives surrendered during the battle.

Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Oct. 29, 2023. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS.
Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Oct. 29, 2023. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS.

Israel Defense Forces troops operating against Hamas at the Shifa Hospital compound in Gaza City continue to make significant gains, with the military reporting on Thursday that a total of 600 terrorists have been detained, in addition to at least 140 who were killed in exchanges of fire.

Since Monday, the IDF has been mounting a massive military operation in an attempt to root out a resurgent Hamas presence at the compound, which Israeli forces first entered in mid-November.

On Wednesday, the army reported that it had killed 90 terrorists and captured more than 300, including Mahmoud Qawasmeh, a senior Hamas operative responsible for planning the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel that ignited that year’s Gaza war (“Operation Protective Edge”).

“The fighting in the hospital area continues, with many instances of contact with the enemy and exchanges of fire,” the IDF said on Thursday afternoon. “The forces continue to operate and search the area in order to locate weaponry and arrest terrorists in close encounters.”

During the battle, several Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives surrendered to the IDF, the statement revealed. Two senior officials of the Iran-backed terrorist group were transferred to Israel for questioning by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).

In addition to Qawasmeh, the IDF captured two more senior terrorists responsible for Hamas’s operations in Judea and Samaria, the army said on Thursday, adding that they were also taken into Shin Bet custody.

In remarks to soldiers of the 414th Combat Intelligence Collection Unit shared by the Defense Ministry on Thursday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant hailed the ongoing operation, claiming it “surprised the terrorists” and “nobody expected us to do what we did.”

Gallant noted that “half a year ago [it] took us a month to reach [Shifa]; now we did it in a flash.” He said the remaining terrorists “are considering their future: surrender or death.”

The IDF has provided extensive evidence that Hamas uses Shifa and other hospitals in the Gaza Strip for its terrorist activities, which are mostly conducted in a massive tunnel system underneath the complexes.

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