Israel Air Force fighter jets struck the home of Hamas politburo head Ismail Haniyeh in the Gaza Strip overnight Wednesday as Israeli forces continued their operations in the enclave.
The residence “was used as terrorist infrastructure and often served as a meeting point for Hamas’s senior leaders to direct terror attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers,” the army said.
Minister-without-Portfolio Benny Gantz warned on Wednesday that Israel will kill Hamas leaders responsible for the Oct. 7 massacre “in Gaza and around the world.”
IDF seizes Gaza harbor
Israeli forces took control of the Port of Gaza, a key Hamas base in Gaza City, the IDF announced on Thursday.
In a combined operation by naval, armored and engineering forces along with air force support, about 10 tunnel shafts were destroyed and four buildings of associated terrorist infrastructure were destroyed, the IDF said.
Hamas used the anchorage as a training facility for its naval forces to direct and carry out attacks, the IDF said. Under the cover of a civilian naval anchorage, Hamas took advantage of the facility to train and carry out attacks, using civilian vessels and Gaza’s naval police boats.
Israeli forces killed 10 terrorists and cleared all the buildings in the area of the anchorage.
In addition, a monument glorifying the Mavi Marmara protest flotilla of 2010 was toppled. Some of the naval commandos in the Israel Navy’s Flotilla 13 who were involved in seizing the anchorage also fought aboard the Mavi Marmara.
In 2010, the Israel Navy intercepted a six-ship flotilla trying to break the Gaza blockade. Violent clashes broke out aboard the Mavi Marmara, the flotilla’s largest ship when protesters attacked Israel Navy commandos. Ten Turkish Islamists, many of whom were armed, were killed. Ankara downgraded its ties with Israel over the affair.
On a number of occasions since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007, the Israel Navy disrupted attempts to smuggle Iranian weapons to the Strip.
Shifa Hospital gets Israeli supplies
Israeli forces on Wednesday successfully transferred medical supplies to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City while soldiers searched for additional Hamas terrorist infrastructure inside the complex.
The army announced on Wednesday morning that incubators, baby food and medical supplies brought into Gaza by IDF tanks had reached Shifa, and that medical teams and Arabic speakers were ensuring that the supplies reached those in need.
Troops entered Shifa overnight Tuesday to conduct what the military said was a precision operation against Hamas, which is headquartered in a vast tunnel system underneath the Gaza Strip’s largest hospital.
So far, IDF troops have found weapons, military technology and intelligence information in the compound.
Also on Tuesday, Israeli forces destroyed a Hamas naval forces weapons cache containing diving gear, explosive devices and weapons during the takeover of the Shati camp, the IDF said.
IDF troops also struck terrorists and located weapons including explosive belts, explosive barrels, RPGs, anti-tank missiles, communication equipment and intelligence documents.
Sirens continued to sound in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip on Thursday morning. Terrorists in Gaza have fired nearly 10,000 rockets at Israeli civilians since the start of the war on Oct. 7, when thousands of Hamas terrorists stormed across the border, murdering 1,200 people, wounding more than 5,000 others and taking over 200 hostages.
IDF strikes Hezbollah in Lebanon
On the northern front, an anti-tank missile was fired from Lebanon towards the area of Shlomi in the Western Galilee on Wednesday. The IDF responded by striking the Hezbollah launch site.
The IDF also attacked “several observation posts and additional launch posts, a weapons compound and terror infrastructure sites belonging to the Hezbollah terrorist organization,” according to the military.
Three more slain soldiers named
The IDF on Thursday morning released the names of two more soldiers killed in Gaza: Capt. Assaf Master, 22, from Kibbutz Bahan, a platoon commander in the 601st Battalion of the 401st Armored Brigade; and Capt. Kafir Yitzhak Franco, 22, from Jerusalem, a platoon commander in the brigade’s 52nd Battalion.
They both fell in battle in the northern Gaza Strip.
The IDF on Thursday afternoon named another soldier who died during operational activity in the northern Gaza Strip: Capt. Shlomo Ben Nun, 22, from Modi’in, a deputy company commander from the 202nd Battalion of the Paratroopers Brigade.
At least 55 soldiers have been killed in action in Gaza and at the Lebanon border since the start of the Gaza ground operation on Oct. 27; 371 Israeli soldiers have died since the war started on Oct. 7.