Israeli Army Still Surrounding Gaza City, Kills ‘Numerous’ Terror Operatives, Destroys Tunnels

Israeli Army Still Surrounding Gaza City, Kills ‘Numerous’ Terror Operatives, Destroys Tunnels

Nov. 4, 2023, 8:44 a.m.

Military says it struck ambulance carrying Hamas cell: ‘They transfer terror operatives and weapons in ambulances’; WHO ‘shocked’ as footage shows dead civilians

The Israel Defense Forces pushed forward with its ground offensive in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday, surrounding Gaza City, clashing with Hamas and killing “numerous” terror operatives, the army said, as Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated that troops were advancing “according to the plan.”

Conquering the city, Gaza’s largest and a stronghold of the Strip’s Hamas rulers, will be a daunting task for Israel’s military, whose aspirations of ousting the terror group will force soldiers to fight through the crowded urban labyrinth thought awash with bombs and booby traps and undercut by a vast network of tunnels the terror group’s operatives will use to ambush troops.

Ambulances used by Hamas.jpg

On Friday evening the IDF confirmed it carried out an airstrike on an ambulance in northern Gaza which it said was identified as being used by a Hamas cell, close to a battle zone.

Hospital directors of three hospitals asserted strikes hit just as staff were trying to evacuate wounded to the south. Footage showed the aftermath outside Gaza’s largest hospital, Shifa, where more than a dozen bloodied bodies of men, women and young children were strewn next to damaged cars and ambulances.

“A number of Hamas terrorist operatives were killed in the strike,” the IDF said, adding that it would release further information soon. It said that “more detailed information” on the strike had already been shared with allies.

The Israel Defense Forces pushed forward with its ground offensive in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday, surrounding Gaza City, clashing with Hamas and killing “numerous” terror operatives, the army said, as Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated that troops were advancing “according to the plan.”

Conquering the city, Gaza’s largest and a stronghold of the Strip’s Hamas rulers, will be a daunting task for Israel’s military, whose aspirations of ousting the terror group will force soldiers to fight through the crowded urban labyrinth thought awash with bombs and booby traps and undercut by a vast network of tunnels the terror group’s operatives will use to ambush troops.

On Friday evening the IDF confirmed it carried out an airstrike on an ambulance in northern Gaza which it said was identified as being used by a Hamas cell, close to a battle zone.

Hospital directors of three hospitals asserted strikes hit just as staff were trying to evacuate wounded to the south. Footage showed the aftermath outside Gaza’s largest hospital, Shifa, where more than a dozen bloodied bodies of men, women and young children were strewn next to damaged cars and ambulances.

“A number of Hamas terrorist operatives were killed in the strike,” the IDF said, adding that it would release further information soon. It said that “more detailed information” on the strike had already been shared with allies.

“We have information which demonstrates that Hamas’s method of operation is to transfer terror operatives and weapons in ambulances,” the IDF said. “We emphasize that this area is a battle zone. Civilians in the area are repeatedly called upon to evacuate southwards for their own safety.”

The military has said Hamas’s main base of operations is located within and under Shifa Hospital, and that it similarly uses other hospitals for cover.

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “utterly shocked” by the deadly Israeli strike on an ambulance near Gaza’s largest hospital on Friday. “We reiterate: patients, health workers, facilities and ambulances must be protected at all times. Always,” the WHO chief wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

An estimated 800,000 Palestinians have fled south from Gaza City and other northern areas following repeated Israeli calls to evacuate, but hundreds of thousands remain in the north, including many who left and later returned because Israel is also carrying out some airstrikes in the south.

On Friday afternoon, the IDF said it had killed numerous terror operatives over the course of a few hours. It said in one incident, ground forces identified a cell coming out of a tunnel and directed an aircraft to strike them.

In another engagement, the IDF said numerous gunmen came out of a tunnel inside a building and opened fire at Israeli forces. The troops returned fire, killing several of them, it said.

One soldier was killed and another was seriously wounded during a clash with Hamas gunmen in Gaza on Friday, the IDF said.

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