IDF launches new operation in Gaza City, troops raid UNRWA compound used by Hamas

Residents claim that the fighting is among the most intense since the start of war; IDF claims to have killed a dozen terror operatives during the past day of combat in Shejaiya, Rafah and Rafah.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a new offensive early on Monday morning, targeting southern Gaza City neighborhoods. The operation was a response to intelligence indicating the presence of Hamas infrastructure and terrorist operatives.

Palestinian media reported that Israeli forces had advanced into Gaza City’s Tel al-Hawa neighbourhood following a wave of airstrikes. Tel al-Hawa, located south of Gaza City near the Netzarim Corridor where the military has a semi-permanent position, is a neighborhood that was reportedly invaded by Israeli ground forces.

It is built around a road that runs south of Gaza City. This allows the IDF the ability to conduct raids on the northern and central Gaza, while also controlling the access to the north by Palestinians who fled south. Israel can also coordinate the delivery of humanitarian aid to northern Gaza.

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The IDF called for Palestinians in Gaza City to evacuate Tuffah and Daraj neighborhoods and to seek shelter on the west side of the city, near the coastline. IDF issued an updated statement on Monday calling on Palestinians to evacuate the Sabra and Rimal neighborhoods, Tel al-Hawa and Daraj, and move toward the designated humanitarian zone.

The army announced that it would open a passage for Palestinians to exit the area.

The zone of humanitarian assistance is located at al-Mawasi, on the southern coast of Gaza, in the western areas around Khan Younis and in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza.

Israeli troops are still fighting Hamas, in Shejaiya, a neighborhood located east of Gaza City.

In a Monday morning statement, the military confirmed that it was also conducting operations at the UNRWA headquarters located near Rimal, where IDF had previously discovered significant Hamas infrastructure, and killed and arrested numerous gunmen.

The IDF claimed to have intelligence on new Hamas, Islamic Jihad and their infrastructure in Gaza City. This included weapon caches as well as detention and questioning rooms.

The military stated that “the IDF will continue acting in accordance with the international law against Hamas, PIJ, and other terror groups who operate and commit terrorist acts from within civilian infrastructures, including UNRWA compound, where they plan and execute terror activities against the State of Israel.”

Residents of Gaza City said that on Monday morning they had seen some of the most intense fighting since the beginning of the war, including artillery, tank fire and airstrikes.

Gaza Civil Emergency Service reported that they believed there to be casualties in the eastern Gaza area but were unable reach them due to ongoing offensives at Tel Al-Hawa and in Tel Al-Hawa’s suburbs of Sabra, Daraj Rimal, Tuffah, and Tuffah.

Troops from the 99th Division carried out the raid on the southern Gaza City neighbourhoods.

IDF reported that in Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighbourhood, troops from the 98th Division had killed dozens Hamas operatives, including those involved in antitank attacks, rocket fire against Israel, and even by ordering airstrikes.

The army reported that an officer from the 7th Armored Brigade 82nd Battalion in Shejaiya was severely wounded late on Sunday.

Since a week and a quarter, the IDF has operated in Shejaiya.

IDF troops from the 162nd division said they had located weapons and tunnel shafts in Rafah’s southernmost town. They also claimed to have killed over 30 gunmen. Rafah’s offensive began in early may.

Hamas launched an unprecedented attack against southern Israel on 7 October, which resulted in the death of 1,200 people by terrorists and the kidnapping of 251 others.

Israel responded by launching a ground invasion into Gaza, with the stated objectives of dismantling Hamas as well as regaining the hostages.

Hamas’ Gaza Health Ministry says that more than 38, 000 people have died or are presumed to be dead as a result of the fighting in the Strip. However, the death toll is not verified and it does not distinguish between civilians and terrorists. Israel claims to have killed over 15,000 combatants and about 1,000 terrorists in Israel during the attack on October 7.

Israel’s total toll for the military offensives against Hamas and the military operations on the Gaza border as well as the ground offensives against Hamas is 326.