IDF troops engage in fierce Gaza battles, seize weapons stockpiles

Israeli forces operating in Gaza City found mortars and explosives inside a house next to a kindergarten.

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Gaza, Hamas
Israeli troops operating in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Dec. 21, 2023. Credit: IDF.
Israeli troops operating in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Dec. 21, 2023. Credit: IDF.

The Israeli military is pressing its offensive against Hamas, with troops uncovering and destroying rocket launchers and other weapons stockpiles, the Israel Defense Forces said on Friday morning.

In the central Gaza village of Jahar al-Dikh, soldiers located a Hamas weapons warehouse. They also called in an airstrike to destroy launchers used to fire rockets at Israel.

n Gaza City, forces found mortars and explosives inside a house next to a kindergarten. In a nearby house, a rocket launcher aimed towards Israel was discovered, along with an RPG.

In Khan Yunis, soldiers uncovered military uniforms, explosive charges and combat equipment inside a residential home.

Meanwhile, an Israel Air Force fighter jet directed by ground forces killed a Hamas terrorist planting explosives and struck a terror squad preparing attacks.

Engineering forces destroyed a tunnel from which terrorists had emerged to fire an RPG at troops.

Over the past two days, forces have carried out raids at a school on the outskirts of Al Shati in northern Gaza where terrorists operated. Soldiers found weapons and maps belonging to Hamas.

The developments come a day after the IDF announced it had achieved operational control of the Hamas stronghold neighborhood of Shuja’iyya, in northern Gaza.

To take the area, IDF soldiers fought close-quarters combat with terrorists, who used firearms and explosives to attack the 36th Division, which seized the area.

The division’s units eliminated the terrorists in intense battles and carried out extensive attacks in the neighborhood, striking hundreds of targets with fire support, per the military.

Israeli forces also identified dozens of tunnel shafts in homes, schools and medical clinics, and soldiers seized large numbers of Hamas weapons in civilian homes.

The Paratroopers Brigade’s combat team destroyed more than 100 structures used by Hamas, exposed and destroyed dozens of tunnel openings and arrested many terrorists, who surrendered. The team transferred the terrorists to security forces for investigations, the IDF said.

Also Thursday, following an intense barrage of anti-tank missile strikes by Hezbollah on northern Israeli communities, IAF fighter jets struck a series of terror targets in Lebanese territory.

They struck Hezbollah launch posts, military structures and terrorist infrastructure, among other targets, the IDF said.

Hezbollah fired projectiles toward the areas of Dovev, Avivim and Har Dov in northern Israel earlier on Thursday. In response, the IDF struck the sources of the fire.

Two Israeli civilians were lightly injured from the attacks toward the area of Dovev.

Sirens sounded in northern Israel due to a hostile aircraft on Thursday. The IAF identified suspicious aerial targets that crossed into Israeli territory from Lebanon, and the targets were successfully intercepted.

With reporting by JNS.