IDF: “Hamas terrorist organization used the harbor as a training facility for their naval commando forces for planning and executing naval terror attacks.”
After almost three weeks of fighting on the ground in northern Gaza, the IDF is expanding the military operations against Hamas to the south of the terrorist-held territory, Israeli media reports say.
“Leaflets, dropped in areas east of the southern town of Khan Younis, warned civilians to evacuate the area and said anyone in the vicinity of terrorists or their positions ‘is putting his life in danger,'” the Israel Hayom newspaper reported Thursday.
The IDF has dropped leaflets waring Gaza residents to evacuate Khan Younis, another Hamas stronghold. pic.twitter.com/hyDLACjqyp
— Aviva Klompas (@AvivaKlompas) November 16, 2023
The Israel Hayom reported the widening of the Gaza operation:
Israeli forces dropped leaflets warning Palestinians to flee parts of southern Gaza, residents said Thursday, signaling a possible expansion of operations to areas where hundreds of thousands of people who heeded earlier evacuation orders are crowded into UN-run shelters and family homes.
Broadening the offensive to the south – where Israel already carries out daily air raids – threatens to worsen an already severe humanitarian crisis in the besieged territory. Over 1.5 million people have been internally displaced in Gaza, with most having fled to the south, where food, water and electricity are increasingly scarce.
The leaflets, dropped in areas east of the southern town of Khan Younis, warned civilians to evacuate the area and saying anyone in the vicinity of terrorists or their positions “is putting his life in danger.” Similar leaflets were dropped over northern Gaza for weeks ahead of the ground invasion.
IDF hits Hamas chief’s Gaza home
In a bid to eliminate Gaza’s ruling terrorist leadership, the Israeli air force struck the home of Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. Haniyeh currently enjoys a luxurious lifestyle in Qatar, but his house was being used as a meeting point for Hamas’s top leadership.
“Overnight, IDF fighter jets struck the residence of Ismail Haniyeh, the Head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, which was used as terrorist infrastructure and often served as a meeting point for Hamas’ senior leaders to direct terror attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers,” the Israeli military said in a statement on Thursday morning.
Overnight, IDF fighter jets struck the residence of Ismail Haniyeh, the Head of Hamas’ Political Bureau.
The residence was used as terrorist infrastructure and a meeting point for Hamas’ senior leaders to direct terrorist attacks against Israel. pic.twitter.com/kljYYN6O0U
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 16, 2023
IDF captures Hamas’ Naval Terror Base
After days of fighting, the IDF captured Gaza’s main port used by Hamas to launch terrorist attacks on Israel’s shore, the Israeli military revealed on Thursday.
Noting Hamas’ naval terrorist operations, the Jerusalem Post reported Thursday that the “[i]nfiltrations by sea were part of Hamas’s attack on October 7, and in the following weeks there were regular attempts to reach Israel this way, including one incident when Hamas terrorists attempted to infiltrate the town of Zikim but were countered by Israeli forces.”
The port, which masqueraded as a civilian harbor, was well-fortified and contained terror tunnels, the IDF press release on Thursday disclosed:
In the past few days, in a joint operation, soldiers of the 188th Armored Brigade, and Flotilla 13 (“Shayetet 13”), took operational control of the Gaza harbor, which was controlled by the Hamas terrorist organization.
In the operation, in which soldiers of the Combat Engineering Corps and the Air Force also participated, 10 terror tunnel shafts and four structures used for terror were destroyed, and 10 terrorists were killed. All buildings in the harbor area were cleared.
The Hamas terrorist organization used the harbor as a training facility for their naval commando forces for planning and executing naval terror attacks. Under the guise of a civilian harbor, Hamas used the area for training and carrying out terror attacks, all the while using civilian and Gaza harbor police vessels.
🚨Breaking – IDF Spox confirmed that IDF forces took control of the main sea port in Gaza, which was held by #Hamas terrorists
more details below. pic.twitter.com/YWWYC2DYWg
— Yaari Cohen (@YaariCohen) November 16, 2023
Israel’s death toll rises to 55
As Israeli soldiers fight their way through terrorist-controlled enclaves, they face enemy fire from terrorists hiding in tunnels and urban landscapes. Since the start of the ground operation, the Israeli military has lost 55 soldiers, the IDF on Thursday confirmed.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced early on Thursday Capt. Asaf Master and Capt. Kfir Itzhak Franco, both aged 22, as the latest fatalities in the Gaza war,” the i24NEWS reported. “A few hours later, the army also announced the death of Captain Shlomo Ben Nun, 22, killed in combat overnight in Gaza. This takes Israel’s military death toll since the start of ground operation up to 55.”
Heroes! May their memories be blessed!
IDF names Cpt. Asaf Master, 22, left, and Cpt. Kfir Itzhak Franco, 22, as latest two soldiers killed in battle fighting Hamas in Gaza.
Their deaths brings the toll in the ground offensive against Hamas to 50. pic.twitter.com/9vcsi7gSyq
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) November 16, 2023
Following yesterday’s raid on Gaza City’s Shifa hospital, which doubles as Hamas’ underground headquarters, the IDF has gained more intelligence on Israeli hostages being held by the terrorist group. (Read Mary Chastain’s post on the Shifa Hospital raid here.)
Besides a large cache of weapons and explosives recovered from the hospital, the IDF found photos and videos of Israeli hostages during their captivity. Many of the hostages, among them women and children, are being held inside Gaza hospitals, recent evidence released by the Israeli military suggests.
The Times of Israel reported:
The IDF tells a BBC reporter, the first foreign journalist taken into Shifa hospital in Gaza, that among the items discovered by troops was a laptop that contained photos and videos of hostages, taken after their abduction to Gaza.
The reporter is also told, but not shown, that the laptop also contains recently released footage, shared by Israeli police, of their interrogations of Hamas terrorists arrested after the October 7 assault.
This, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus tells the BBC, suggests Hamas was in the hospital “within the last few days.”
“At the end of the day, this is just the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “Hamas aren’t here because they saw we were coming. This is probably what they were forced to leave behind. Our assessment is that there’s much more.”
IDF hits Hezbollah targets in Lebanon
A day after Hezbollah carried out yet another missile attack into northern Israel, the Israeli military conducted sweeping strikes against the Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist group. “In response, the IDF struck the Hezbollah launch post from which the missile was fired. Furthermore, the IDF also struck several observation posts and additional launch posts, a weapons compound, and terror infrastructure sites belonging to the Hezbollah terrorist organization,” the Israeli military disclosed.
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) November 16, 2023
“IDF fighter jets carried out airstrikes on Hezbollah targets in Lebanon on Thursday morning, the IDF announced. The targets included Hezbollah military posts,” the Jerusalem Post reported.DONATE
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