newsIsrael at War

IDF ‘closing in on Hamas’ in Gaza City

The terrorist group prevented Shifa Hospital from accepting fuel; IDF: The security situation near the Lebanese border will change.

Israeli troops operating in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Nov. 12, 2023. Credit: IDF.
Israeli troops operating in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Nov. 12, 2023. Credit: IDF.

The Israel Defense Forces is closing in on Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip and disrupting its command and control systems, the IDF stated on Sunday.

The army added that the security situation in the north, with tens of thousands of Israelis unable to return to their homes due to the threat of attacks from Lebanon, “will not remain as it is.”

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the military is conducting raids deeper and deeper into Gaza City and the Shati camp. Dozens of buildings were raided by the IDF and terrorists that were defending them were killed.

IDF soldiers also raided a marina being used by terrorists in Gaza City and are closing in from the east. Forces are identifying long-range rockets pointed at Israel and anti-tank-missile firing positions, and destroying them.

Humanitarian zones that have been set up in the southern Gaza Strip also serve Israel’s operational needs, IDF International Spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said, since they enable more civilians to leave Gaza City, enabling more effective targeting of Hamas terrorists.

Amid these operations, the military continues to try to provide humanitarian solutions. For instance, the IDF coordinated the transfer of 300 liters of fuel for urgent medical purposes to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

However, Hamas stopped the hospital from receiving the fuel, said the military. The IDF publicized a recording of a conversation between an IDF officer and a senior official in the Hamas Health Ministry, indicating that ministry CEO Yosef Abu Rish forbade the reception of the fuel.

Hecht said, “We agreed on a place with the hospital on where to leave the fuel. Sadly, they haven’t taken the fuel yet.

“It’s very, very cynical on behalf of Hamas,” he continued. “The only thing standing between Shifa and refueling needs is Hamas.”

Rantisi and Nasser hospitals have been evacuated, he said.

The IDF is trying to facilitate the movement of premature babies from Shifa Hospital, but Hamas is “meddling in this,” said Hecht.

Rapid coordination

Earlier on Sunday, the IDF said it has enhanced its capabilities for rapid coordination of accurate intelligence and effective firepower in response to the challenges posed by Hamas terrorists in Gaza. It named the Center for Defense and Operational Maneuvers within the Military Intelligence Directorate as being tasked with producing, researching, and making tactical intelligence accessible to frontline forces.

A recent example of the Center for Defense and Operational Maneuvers’s effectiveness was the killing of Ahmed Siam, the commander of Hamas’s Naser Radwan Company. On Nov. 10, the Givati Infantry Brigade’s back office detected Siam’s unusual presence at a school in the northern Gaza Strip.

He had previously held about a thousand Gazan civilians as hostages and human shields in Rantisi Hospital. Cross-checking multiple layers of intelligence confirmed his location, leading to his targeted killing by an Israeli Air Force aircraft.

In another development, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi conducted an aerial survey over the Gaza Strip, communicating with the commander of the Golani Infantry Brigade.

Concurrently, IDF soldiers initiated operations in the Shati camp in the northern Gaza Strip, targeting terrorists and uncovering extensive terrorist infrastructure. During one encounter, IDF troops discovered civilians in a building amid a battle. They secured an evacuation route, which was compromised as terrorists fired at the troops. The IDF responded with light arms fire and tank shelling to neutralize the threat and protect the civilians.

Furthermore, IDF troops identified and eliminated a terrorist cell in a house, and destroyed a weapons storage facility that was the source of an anti-tank missile.

Meanwhile in the Galilee, seven soldiers and six civilians were wounded in separate mortar and anti-tank attacks by Hezbollah from across the Lebanese border.  

Israeli Air Forces fighter jet and other aircraft struck a number of terrorist targets belonging to Hezbollah, including a “military” compound containing a weapons storage facility and “military” infrastructure.

 The IDF also struck Hezbollah targets with artillery.

“In the north, the dynamic is the same, [Hezbollah chief Hassan] Nasrallah is still doing what he’s doing. Let’s hope he doesn’t come into this,” said Hecht.

Hagari described the attack on civilians as being “very severe,” adding, that Hezbollah and the Lebanese government are responsible for these attacks.

“The security situation will not remain in a way that northern residents will fear coming back to their homes,” Hagari said.

The IDF struck two terrorist sites in Syria as well, he added.

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