Israeli forces killed 60 terrorists in the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours, including 40 in the southern Hamas stronghold of Khan Yunis, the Israel Defense Forces reported on Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, in the center of the Strip, the IDF completed the destruction of Hamas‘s Central Camp Brigade’s weapon production infrastructure. The infrastructure included workshops and factories both above and below ground.
“These were central to Hamas’s empowerment capability, and from there, they transported the weapons and rockets to all areas of the Strip,” IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said during a press briefing on Wednesday night.
“The dismantling of the infrastructure took time due to a complex underground layout and also combat challenges with terrorists in the area. It was only possible to dismantle this layout through ground operations,” he continued.
Hagari said that there are currently three divisions operating in Gaza—a division in the north conducting counter-terror operations (the IDF in recent days shifted to a less intensive phase of fighting there); a second division in the center, holding the corridor separating northern and southern Gaza; and a third division “with the widest scope of forces” fighting in Khan Yunis.
He also said that this week, a division was rotated out “to be refreshed.”
Furthermore, Hagari said that in Khan Yunis the operations are expanding from the eastern part of the city to the southern section where another Hamas battalion is located, carrying out strikes there with heavy fighting and casualties.
In recent days, 16 tons of ammunition, fuel, water, and food were airdropped for the forces of Division 98 fighting in Khan Yunis, the fifth aerial resupply operation carried out since the start of ground operations, totaling 60 tons of supplies.
“Underground in Khan Yunis, an additional operation is underway for scanning, locating, and destroying what we call the underground maze beneath the ground. This is a time-consuming operation because we must maintain the safety of our forces and also the safety of hostages who may still be in that area,” Hagari remarked.
“The fighting in the tunnels and their destruction is challenging, combining new combat methods, some of which did not previously exist in the IDF, and even, if I can modestly say, not in other places in the world. There are engineering forces above ground and special forces underground. We are learning every day, drawing lessons, improving, and advancing in this underground warfare,” he said.
Additionally, IDF troops conducted a targeted raid on the residence of a terrorist in Khan Yunis, locating 10 grenades, AK-47 rifles, magazines, military equipment, technological assets and maps.
In the Zabara neighborhood of Gaza City in northern Gaza, troops located anti-tank explosive devices, RPG launchers, military equipment, and technological assets. Elsewhere in northern Gaza, aerial strikes killed armed terrorists posing a threat to Israeli soldiers, including gunmen operating adjacent to a school.
Also in the north, IDF troops located Islamic Jihad terrorists rigging a vehicle with explosives and entering an Islamic Jihad compound. Ground troops then directed an aircraft to eliminate a terrorist who exited the compound. Shots were also fired at the vehicle and the subsequent explosion indicated that it was rigged with explosives.
Two soldiers slain in Gaza
The IDF death toll since the start of ground operations in Gaza rose to 193 with the announcement on Wednesday that two more soldiers were killed.
Sgt. Oriya Ayimalk Goshen, 21, from Jerusalem, fell in battle in the southern Gaza Strip, and Sgt. Maj. Anwar Serhan, 26, from Hurfeish, fell in an operational car accident in the center of the country.
A total of 529 military personnel have lost their lives since the start of the war on Oct. 7.
Additionally, Hebrew media reported that seven naval soldiers were lightly injured after their vessel capsized. They were transported to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon for treatment. The base commander said that the incident would be investigated.
Hamas taking 1,000 boxes of medicine for every one going to hostages
Medicines destined for Israeli hostages, but most of which will end up serving the Hamas terrorist organization, entered the Gaza Strip from Egypt on Wednesday, Ynet reported on Wednesday night.
“A senior Hamas official said that for every box provided for the hostages, 1,000 boxes would be sent in for Palestinians,” according to the Associated Press.
As part of an agreement brokered by France and Qatar, Israel also agreed to allow more aid trucks into Gaza.
The medicines are intended for 45 captives with known medical conditions, who have been hostages for more than 100 days.
Hamas took 240 hostages back to Gaza during its onslaught on southern Israel on Oct. 7, in which 1,200 people were murdered and thousands wounded. According to Israel, there are 136 captives remaining in Gaza, although many are believed to be dead.
IDF releases video of launch site’s destruction
The IDF on Wednesday provided further documentation of the destruction of a Hamas launch site on Tuesday shortly after a barrage of rockets were fired at the southern Israeli city of Netivot.
Soldiers operating near Al Bureij in central Gaza tracked down and arrested seven terrorists, killing others during the pursuit, after 25 rockets were launched at Netivot.
Troops found three launchers, each with 10 barrels and several of which were loaded with rockets. The compound and launchers were destroyed.