The IDF continued to push deeper into the Gaza Strip on day 66 of “Swords of Iron”—the military operation to eliminate the threat of Hamas after the Oct. 7 massacre in the northwestern Negev.
Dozens of operatives from the terrorist group were killed in Israel Air Force strikes over the past 24 hours, the IDF reported, including armed terrorists exiting a medical clinic.
In one incident in the Shejaiya neighborhood in Gaza City, ground troops and a drone directed an aircraft to kill terrorists armed with shoulder-fired missiles.
In the Jabalia area, soldiers found explosive charges, a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a rocket-propelled grenade hidden in UNRWA-labeled bags, inside a residence. In addition, a truck full of long-range rockets was found near a school in the area.
Troops in the Jabalia area also located a lathe for the production of weapons and a launch site with approximately 50 projectiles, some of which were loaded and ready to fire.
First logistical airdrop in 17 years
IDF troops also continue to operate in the Hamas stronghold of Khan Yunis in the southern Strip, where in recent days they received seven tons of airdropped logistical supplies.
In a joint operation of the Technology and Logistics Division and the Airborne Supply Unit of the High Altitude Brigade, the supplies were delivered using an IAF “Samson” Super Hercules C-130J aircraft from Squadron 103, the military revealed on Monday.
The IDF’s “Guided Supply” advanced operational system was used for the first time. It enables the parachuting of equipment to precisely navigate to the target on the ground.
It marks the IDF’s first operational airdrop carried out since the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Air-raid sirens sounded in the Gaza border communities of Sderot, Ibim and Nir Am on Monday morning.
The Sderot municipality spokeswoman said after the alarms in and around the city that seven interceptions were carried out, and there were no strikes in the city. “There are no known physical injuries or property damage,” the municipality added.
Sirens also pealed in the northern city of Ma’alot-Tarshiha, with the IDF reporting that six launches from Lebanon were intercepted. Two other rockets struck open areas. There were no reports of injuries or property damage.
Gallant: Hamas underestimated Israel
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper on Sunday that Hamas underestimated Israel’s response to its terrorist assault on Oct. 7, in which 1,200 people were killed, thousands more wounded and around 240 hostages taken back to Gaza.
“It’s hard to bring democracies to fight wars, but once we are in one, we are much stronger because we are fighting to defend our values,” Gallant said.
“In the northern region of Gaza, Hamas is suffering massive losses, and we are achieving our military goals. Hamas terrorists have two options: die or surrender,” he said.
Five soldiers killed in battle near school
The IDF on Monday published the names of five soldiers from the same battalion who were killed on Sunday during a battle with terrorists in the southern Gaza Strip.
These soldiers from the 5th Brigade’s 8111 Battalion, operating under the command of the 4th Brigade’s combat team, died during a raid on a terrorist complex near a school that was used to shoot at Israeli forces. The names of the slain soldiers are as follows:
Master Sgt. (res.) Itai Perry, 36, from Modi’in; Maj. (res.) Avitar Cohen, 42, from Kfar Saba; Maj. (res.) Roman Bronshtein, 46, from Bat Yam; Capt. (res.) Eliya Yanovsky, 24, from Jerusalem; and Maj. (res.) Ari Yehiel Zenilman, 32, from Jerusalem.
“During the fighting, a bomb was fired at the forces and terrorists were identified in the area, the fighters returned fire, directed aircraft and tanks, attempted contact, eliminated terrorists and destroyed the terrorist infrastructure in the compound,” the IDF said.
The 4th Brigade’s combat team also raided the headquarters of the Islamic Jihad where they located weapons, mortar bombs, explosive charges, technological equipment such as operating systems, intelligence documents and a shaft leading to an underground infrastructure that was destroyed.
The IDF on Monday also released the names of two other soldiers who died in recent days:
Master Sgt. (res.) Gideon Ilani, 35, from Mitzpe Asa’el, a soldier in Battalion 2855 of the 55th Paratroopers Brigade, was killed in action in the Gaza Strip.
Maj. Gal Becher, 34, from Oranit, a training officer in the 36th Division, was killed in a military car accident in the south of Israel.
At least 106 soldiers have been killed in action in Gaza since the start of the IDF ground operation on Oct. 27; 433 Israeli soldiers have died since the war began.