Over 70 terrorists laid down their weapons and surrendered to Israeli forces during an operation in the area of Kamal Adwan Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces said on Thursday afternoon.
The arrests were made after soldiers located a building used by Hamas operatives and a “military” officer, fought with the terrorists and killed several of them.
Battles continued to rage in Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighbourhood and in Jabalia, also in the northern Gaza Strip, where “many terrorists” were killed, and in Khan Yunis in the south over the past day, the IDF said earlier on Thursday.
In Shejaiya, soldiers searched a school complex “that served as a central focus of the fighting of the Hamas Shejaiya Battalion,” killing terrorists and destroying infrastructure in the compound.
In the Khan Yunis area, soldiers found weapons and grenades and destroyed two tunnel shafts, a rocket launch pit and a weapons warehouse.
Near the Jabalia refugee camp, IDF soldiers demolished terrorist infrastructure, located weapons and killed terrorists. A Hamas sniper was eliminated by a helicopter gunship after being identified by ground forces.
Terrorist groups in Gaza continue to fire rockets into Israel, with warning sirens sounded in border communities on Thursday morning.
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Also on Thursday morning, the IDF released for publication that Maj. (res.) Elisha Levinshtern, 38, from Harish, was killed in action in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday.
His death brings to 116 the total number of soldiers killed since the start of ground operations in the Gaza Strip on Oct. 27; 445 soldiers have died since the start of the war on Oct. 7.
The Israel Defense Forces also urged Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to help topple Hamas rule, with flyers dropped in the coastal enclave promising up to US$400,000 for information on the whereabouts of terror leaders.
“Hamas’s end is near. For your future. Anyone who can present information that could help us arrest the individuals who brought destruction and ruins to the Gaza Strip will be rewarded,” read the pamphlets, photos of which were shared on social media.
Gazans have been offered US$400,000 for information on Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar; US$300,000 for intel on his brother, terror commander Muhammad Sinwar; US$200,000 for intel on Rafa’a Salameh, the commander of Hamas’s Khan Yunis Battalion; and US$100,000 for intel on Mohammed Deif, the commander of Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades “military” wing.
The flyers, which contained the logo of Israel’s armed forces and promised confidentiality, include an Israeli phone number and the username of an account on the Telegram messaging app.
Last week, IDF troops surrounded the residence of Sinwar in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. Sinwar is believed to live in Khan Yunis in the southern Strip.
“His house is not a fortress and he can escape, but it’s only a matter of time before we get to him,” vowed Netanyahu.
Sinwar, considered one of the masterminds of the terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre in the northwestern Negev, may try to escape into Egypt through entry points under mosques, Israeli media reported last week.
Hamas’s Religious Endowment Ministry recently ordered the opening of mosques to accept displaced persons. At least five of them are near the Philadelphi Corridor, the Gaza-Egypt border.
The mosques have tunnels under them leading across the corridor into Egypt, Channel 12 reported on Dec. 6, suggesting that they could provide an escape route for Sinwar and other senior Hamas leadership.
Asked by JNS about Israel’s efforts to keep tabs on the border, Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Eylon Levy said that Jerusalem could not comment on the “various intelligence means” it is using to keep tabs on Sinwar and other terrorists.
“We certainly will continue making every effort to bring them to justice and to get our hands on all of the monsters responsible for the Oct. 7 massacre,” he said.
On Oct. 14, IDF International Spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht told journalists that Sinwar and his entire command team were in Israel’s sights.
“Yahya Sinwar is the face of evil,” he said.