newsIsrael at War

With air, sniper, tank fire, IDF eliminates dozens of terrorists in Gaza

The Israeli Air Force continues to strike multiple Hezbollah targets in Southern Lebanon.

Israeli troops operating in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Dec. 28, 2023. Credit: IDF.
Israeli troops operating in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Dec. 28, 2023. Credit: IDF.

In recent hours in Gaza, Israel Defense Forces troops eliminated dozens of terrorists via ground operations combined with aerial strikes and sniper and tank fire, the military announced on Friday.

During a critical engagement in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, an Israeli aircraft swiftly identified a terrorist armed with a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) advancing towards the troops. IDF tanks neutralized the threat, preventing the attack.

IDF troops also targeted terrorist infrastructure in Khan Yunis on Thursday, the IDF said. While dismantling the structures, Israeli troops saw a terrorist retrieving an RPG from a shaft. They responded with a barrage of grenades, eliminating him.

An IDF drone strike killed a terrorist who was some 325 feet from the Israeli soldiers, and an Israeli Air Force fighter jet struck a building, eliminating the terrorist cell inside.

The IDF also said on Friday that the Kfir infantry brigade has assisted operations in Khan Yunis, a Hamas stronghold, since last week, joining the 98th Division that was already active in the area. The two have destroyed many terrorist cells and recovered extensive weaponry and found many tunnels, the IDF said. The did so with artillery, air and armored assistance.

Weaponizing children

Israeli troops evaded a Hamas ambush ploy—a doll dressed in a snowsuit, meant to look like a child—and they also destroyed explosive-rigged buildings.

“Many weapons and tunnel shafts were located in the area,” the IDF said.

Soldiers from the local combat team also found weapons in a child’s bedroom—some hidden in a child’s bag—in a house. They discovered grenades, vests, cartridges and intelligence materials and located a laboratory used for the production of explosive devices.

In northern Gaza, IDF intelligence led forces to a residence on the outskirts of Jabalia belonging to a Hamas terrorist. There, troops found an array of weapons, Hamas military certifications and textbooks detailing IDF tactics.

The IDF’s 5th Brigade, part of the Gaza Division, and soldiers from the Armored and Combat Engineering Corps began operations in Khirbat Ikhza’a, a focal point of Hamas activity in the southern Gaza Strip.

The IDF said it is trying to gain control of Khirbat Ikhza’a—the staging area from which Hamas terrorists attacked Kibbutz Nir Oz on Oct. 7—and soldiers neutralized terrorists and destroyed significant terror infrastructure, including tunnel shafts and anti-tank missile launch posts.

“Dozens of tunnel shafts have already been located, as well as large quantities of weapons, including AK-47s, rifles, grenades, mines, launchers and mortars,” in the area, the IDF said.

“The combat engineering soldiers of the brigade’s combat team also destroyed terrorist infrastructure located in the residences of the terrorists who participated in the brutal massacre in Kibbutz Nir Oz on Oct. 7,” per the military.

IDF forces persisted in striking terror sites across several key areas in the Gaza Strip, targeting locations such as Daraj and Tufah in the northern part, the al-Bureij camp in the central region and Khan Yunis in the south, where IDF operations were intensified.

Hamas leadership

Hamas told Egypt it rejects any outline, in which Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad would not be part of the leadership of the Gaza Strip after the war, according to a report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center on Friday.

Leaders of the terror organization said any postwar political scenario should be based on a Palestinian “consensus.”

It also denied recent reports in Le Figaro that Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of the Hamas political bureau in Lebanon, received a phone call from Yahya Sinwar, Hamas leader in Gaza, 30 minutes before the launch of the Oct. 7 mass murder attack.

The French newspaper reported that Sinwar asked al-Arouri to update Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s secretary-general, about the attack.

Northern Israel

The IDF identified launches from Lebanon towards Israel on Friday, two of which crossed into Israeli territory. IDF artillery struck the sources of the fire.

The Israeli military also struck a Hezbollah terrorist cell, which was responsible for launching anti-tank missiles in the area of Aitaroun in southern Lebanon, and a missile launcher used to attack the area of Bar’am, in northern Israel, earlier in the day.

Lebanese media reported that a drone struck a vehicle in Aitaroun.

Israeli fighter jets struck Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure, including launch sites and a military compound, in the area of Wadi Hamul, in Southern Lebanon, the military said.

Earlier on Friday, IDF artillery units carried out strikes against the sources of a series of launches from Lebanon targeting Dovev and Bar’am, in northern Israel.

Ali Damush, a senior aid to Nasrallah and deputy head of Hezbollah’s executive council, reportedly boasted on Friday that “the Israeli dilemma is today from Gaza to Lebanon,” per a Ynet report.

“Hezbollah brought Israel into a daily war of attrition, uprooted residents from the border area and increased the internal dilemma,” the terrorist reportedly added.

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