Israel Defense Forces Capture Hamas Stronghold, Ground Operation Toll Reaches 34

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

On Thursday morning, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced they captured a major Hamas stronghold in west Jabaliya, just north of Gaza City. The IDF is reportedly also closing in on Shifa Hospital, underneath which Hamas reportedly has a headquarters, using the hospital, its staff, and patients as human shields.

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The Israeli Defense Force said its troops captured a major Hamas stronghold in west Jabaliya, just north of Gaza City, in the early hours of Thursday morning following 10 hours of fighting, as the military meanwhile pushed further into the heart of Gaza City where the terror group is believed to have its underground headquarters.

The IDF said that Nahal Infantry Brigade troops battled Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives in the west Jabaliya stronghold known as Outpost 17, who were both “above ground and in an underground route in the area,” and that dozens of terror operatives were killed in the course of the battle.

Inside Outpost 17, the IDF uncovered “significant” Hamas battle plans, as well as weapons and tunnel shafts, one of which was located adjacent to a kindergarten and led to an “extensive underground route,” the IDF said.

Intelligence-gathering is a vital part of these kinds of operations, of course, and while Hamas will no doubt know that these plans have been captured and change operations accordingly, the captured plans still give valuable insights into Hamas's methods. They may also prove useful in any of the prospective war crimes trials of Hamas leaders taken alive.

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So far, however, the IDF has not seemed overly inclined to take Hamas leaders alive. Also on Thursday, the IDF announced a significant success in their mission of turning bad terrorists into good terrorists:

Also on Thursday morning, the IDF announced that it killed a senior Hamas commander responsible for the terror group’s anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) operations in central Gaza.

In a joint statement with the Shin Bet security agency on Thursday, the IDF said that Ibrahim Abu-Maghsib was the head of Hamas’s ATGM array in the so-called central camps brigade and shared video footage of the strike.

The IDF has also confirmed they have suffered 34 IDF troops lost in the fighting; this seems a low number for military operations in urban terrain (MOUT), which have historically been Stalingrad-style meat grinders.

Further, the IDF confirmed the capture of a Hamas drone-manufacturing operation.

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Yesterday (Wednesday), I reported on the Hamas leaders (safely ensconced in luxury homes in Qatar, far from danger) who stated the intent of provoking a state of permanent war all along Israel's borders. If the IDF keeps up the pace of the operations in Gaza, there may soon be few, if any, Hamas fighters left to carry on said permanent war. Still, there are other groups besides Hamas out there with a long history of antipathy towards Israel.

It's important to note that Hamas has supporters within our own government as well. The IDF's actions in Gaza should not be viewed as a war, but just as one battle in a larger conflict.

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