Israel struck over 300 Hamas targets and killed “numerous” terrorists in the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours, including a senior commander, the Israel Defense Forces said on Tuesday morning.
Among the sites targeted were underground anti-tank missile and rocket launching positions and military compounds, according to the IDF.
Nasim Abu Ajina, commander of the Beit Lahia Battalion of Hamas’s Northern Brigade, was killed in an Israeli air strike on Monday. According to the IDF, Abu Ajina directed the Oct. 7 massacre of Israeli civilians in Kibbutz Erez and Netiv Ha’asara. He previously commanded the Hamas Aerial Array and participated in the development of the terrorist organization’s drones and paragliders.
“His elimination significantly harms the efforts of the Hamas terrorist organization to disrupt the IDF’s ground activities,” according to the Israeli military.
Israeli ground forces also engaged and destroyed terrorist cells, as well as providing real-time direction for airstrikes on Hamas forces and infrastructure.
Israeli forces have been conducting “fierce battles” against Hamas “deep in the Gaza Strip,” in recent hours, the IDF announced on Tuesday afternoon.
Despite the IDF’s ground operation in Gaza, rocket fire from the Strip was ongoing, triggering sirens in Israeli border communities multiple times overnight Monday and on Tuesday morning. Rocket barrages were fired at central Israel on Tuesday afternoon.
The military on Tuesday released a radio recording of the head of IDF Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman, telling troops operating in Gaza that there can be “no result other than victory.”
“Southern Command stations, commander is speaking. We are launching an attack on Hamas and the terror groups in the Gaza Strip. Our goal is one: victory. No matter how long the fighting takes, how difficult, there is no other result but victory,” said Finkelman.
“We will fight professionally and powerfully in light of the IDF values we were raised on. Chief among them is sticking to the mission and striving for victory. We will fight in the alleys, we will fight in the tunnels, we will fight where necessary. We will strike the terrible enemy that stands before us,” he continued.
“My brothers in arms, the residents of Be’eri, Sderot, Nir Oz, Kfar Aza, and the western Negev communities, and with them the entire nation of Israel, are all looking at us now. Like me, they also trust you and believe in you. You are the generation of victory,” said Finkelman. “Get to your tasks, hit the enemy. Out.”
IDF fighter jets hit Hezbollah targets in Lebanon
On the northern frontier, IDF fighter jets struck multiple Hezbollah targets in Lebanon overnight Monday.
Israel has been engaging with terrorist groups in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Judea and Samaria since declaring war on Hamas following the terror group’s Oct. 7 pogrom in the western Negev that killed at least 1,400 people and wounded over 5,000. More than 200 people were taken back to Gaza by the terror group as hostages.
Iranian terror proxies attack US forces in Iraq, Syria
Iranian terror proxies have also been attacking U.S. forces stationed in Iraq and Syria. At least 24 drone and rocket attacks have occurred in recent days, including three on Monday, Voice of America reported, citing U.S. defense officials.
U.S. forces at a base near al-Shaddadi in northeastern Syria were attacked on Sunday.
No casualties were reported in any of the attacks, but dozens of U.S. military personnel were reportedly injured.
The United States blames Iranian proxy groups for the attacks.
“We know that these are Iranian-backed militia groups that are supported by Iran and, of course, we hold Iran responsible for these groups,” Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said last week.
Three Israeli Arabs arrested on charges of ISIS affiliation
On Sunday, three Israeli citizens allegedly affiliated with the Islamic State terrorist group, residents of Sakhnin and Arraba in the Galilee, were arrested in a joint Israel Security Agency and Israel Police operation.
The three are suspected of preparing to carry out terror-related activities in the shadow of the ongoing war in Gaza.