“IDF ground, air, and naval troops are continuing to strike terror targets in the Gaza Strip, including terrorist cells and military sites and infrastructure used by terrorist organizations.”
A day after Israel allegedly eliminated a top Iranian terror operative in neighboring Syria, the Israeli military is expanding the ground offensive in southern Gaza. While fighting still rages around some jihadist strongholds in the north, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has widened the operation in the south of Gaza, where Hamas’s terrorist leadership, including its chief Yahya Sinwar, are believed to be hiding.
The IDF finds weapons hidden under blankets in a child's bedroom in the Tuffah district of Gaza City.
The soldiers uncovered dozens of AK-47s, grenades, bazookas, RPG rocket heads, and Israeli license plates.
— Eli Kowaz (@elikowaz) December 26, 2023
The military is reportedly carrying out shaping operations ahead of a ground offensive in the south. “The Israeli Air Force struck more than 100 Hamas targets in the southern Gaza Strip overnight, in preparation for expanded ground operations in the area, the military says, even as the army continues to face resistance amid mop-up operations in the north of the Strip,” The Times of Israel reported Tuesday. “According to the IDF, the targets included tunnel shafts, military sites, and other infrastructure used by terror operatives to target Israeli forces.”
The Israeli Air Force struck more than 100 Hamas targets in the southern Gaza Strip overnight, in preparation for expanded ground operations in the area, the military says. According to the IDF, the targets included tunnel shafts, military sites, and other infrastructure used by… pic.twitter.com/XgegV8i7av
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) December 26, 2023
The Israeli armed forces are hitting Hamas terror targets from all sides, the IDF press release on Tuesday reveals:
IDF ground, air, and naval troops are continuing to strike terror targets in the Gaza Strip, including terrorist cells and military sites and infrastructure used by terrorist organizations.
As part of assistance to the ground troops, dozens of IDF fighter jets struck over 100 Hamas terror targets, including tunnel shafts, infrastructure, and military sites used by the terrorist organization to attack IDF troops. (…)
Over the past day, an IDF aircraft within a number of minutes struck and killed more than ten terrorists operating in the Khan Yunis adjacent to the troops. Furthermore, in Khan Yunis, IDF troops identified a Hamas cell advancing toward a military compound belonging to the terrorist organization, where numerous weapons were stored. The troops directed an IDF aircraft that struck the military compound and killed the Hamas terrorist cell.
Furthermore, during searches in an Islamic Jihad military compound in Daraj Tuffah, IDF troops located guns, explosive devices, and ammunition, along with intelligence documents and military equipment used by the terrorist organization.
🔴WATCH: IDF releases footage from the operation in Shejaiya, as it now focuses on central Gaza camps pic.twitter.com/Y2utcrhLpm
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) December 26, 2023
Hezbollah escalates attacks after Iranian terror threats
Amid Iranian threats to avenge the killing of Reza Mousavi, a senior commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the Lebanon-based pro-Iranian Hezbollah terrorist group stepped up cross border rocket fire into Israel.
Hezbollah fired anti-tank missiles into northern Israel, hitting an Orthodox Church and injuring several IDF soldiers. The Shia-Islamic terrorist group positioned its rocket launcher inside a mosque in southern Lebanon, Israeli military sources say.
Hezbollah fired from within a mosque in southern Lebanon toward Israeli civilians.
This is not Hezbollah’s first attack involving a holy site today.
Places of worship should be sacred, not sacrificed for terrorism. pic.twitter.com/ss3RQvtI2G
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) December 26, 2023
The Israeli TV channel i24NEWS reported:
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed that a Hezbollah anti-tank missile struck St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Iqrit, northern Israel. (…)
A civilian near the Christian village of Iqrit suffered serious injuries in the missile strike. IDF forces and first responders are on the scene, providing assistance to the victim.
However, reportedly the situation escalated when, upon the arrival of troops, another anti-tank missile was launched, leading to an intense firefight. 9 IDF troops have transferred to a hospital after evacuating the civilian from the scene. One of the soldiers was seriously injured and eight soldiers were moderately and lightly injured.
The IDF attacking Hezbollah in Lebanon in response to the terror group striking a Melkite Greek Catholic church in Iqrit, Israel. pic.twitter.com/97Pnj6TSUB
— Kassy Dillon (@KassyDillon) December 26, 2023
The terrorist escalation on the Israeli northern border comes amid threats made by the Iranian regime, Iran’s Islamic Guard (IRGC), and proxy terrorist group Hezbollah following Mousavi’s killing in an alleged Israeli strike.
Now together again. Arch terrorist & IRGC commander in Syria, Reza Mousavi (left), received justice courtesy of an Israeli air strike near Damascus. He rejoins late unlamented Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani. A very significant killing for which Iran says Israel will “pay”. pic.twitter.com/ZkPBZnHnVr
— Rɪᴄʜᴀʀᴅ Kᴇᴍᴘ ⋁ (@COLRICHARDKEMP) December 25, 2023
The slain Iranian terror operative was coordinating terrorist activities and arms supplies to Hezbollah, which has stepped up attacks on Israel’s northern border since Hamas carried out the October 7 massacre, Israeli media sources confirm.
Mousavi was also a close associate of Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a 2020 U.S. drone strike under President Trump’s watch.
The Israeli news website Ynet reported renewed Iranian terror threats against Israel:
Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, threatened Israel hours after the assassination of Sayyed Reza Mousavi, a senior commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps based in Syria. “Tel Aviv should count down,” he warned.
Hezbollah also reacted to Reza Mousavi’s assassination calling it a “blatant attack that crosses the line.” Hezbollah called Mousavi “one of the best brothers who worked to support Hezbollah in Lebanon for decades.” The terrorist organization also said in a statement that he “was dedicated to serving the resistance and its fighters and is a brother in arms. We send our condolences to Ali Khamenei, to the leadership of the Revolutionary Guards in Iran, to his family and to the Iranian people.” (…)
Reza Mousavi was one of the “senior advisers” to the IRGC in Syria and used to accompany the commander of the Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, whwas assassinated in January 20, as well as his successors.
The Revolutionary Guards confirmed his death, and threatened that “Israel will pay the price for the crime of assassinating one of our veteran military advisers in Syria.” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi echoed this, adding that Mousavi’s assassination is “another sign of Israel’s frustration.”
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