IDF pushes into Gaza City, targets Hamas terrorists in UNRWA HQ
Israeli troops operating in the Gaza Strip, July 2024. Photo: IDF

Israeli forces entered the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood based on intelligence that Hamas and Islamic Jihad were reestablishing themselves there.

JNS Staff Report
July 8, 2024

The Israel Defense Forces launched a new counterterror operation in Gaza City’s Tel al-Hawa neighborhood overnight Sunday, saying that it followed intelligence indicating the presence of Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives.

In a statement, the IDF said that the terrorist groups had established interrogation and detention rooms in the area, including at the UNRWA headquarters. Terrorist infrastructure and weapons were also found to be in the area, according to the Military Intelligence Directorate.

Israeli forces raided the UNRWA site in the upscale Rimal neighborhood in February, finding a Hamas terror compound underneath the building, including a massive tunnel and a data center including Iranian technology.

The IDF said that it warned civilians ahead of the Tel al-Hawa operation and that it would open an evacuation route for noncombatants.

“The Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations continue to systematically operate and carry out terrorist activity from inside civilian infrastructure. The IDF will continue to operate against the terrorist organizations in accordance with international law,” the statement read.

Over 30 terrorists killed in Rafah

Over the past day, IDF troops and IAF craft killed more than 30 terrorists in Rafah in southernmost Gaza, where a military operation has been taking place since early May. In addition, soldiers located tunnel shafts and confiscated weapons in the area.

The IDF also struck two ready-to-use launch sites aimed at Israeli territory in Khan Younis and Gaza City.

Dozens of terrorists were also killed during an ongoing operation in Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighborhood, including Hamas operatives involved in anti-tank missile and rocket units. Furthermore, terrorist infrastructure sites were dismantled.

Israeli forces destroyed the headquarters of the Hamas terrorists in Shejaiya, which was located in schools and a clinic converted from civilian use to terrorist purposes. Terrorists from Hamas’s Shejaiya Battalion fortified themselves in the compound where they hid and from where they carried out terrorist attacks.

During searches in the compound, IDF soldiers destroyed a weapons production site and dozens of weapons, including mortars, machine guns and grenades, and found Hamas intelligence documents hidden alongside UNRWA equipment and uniforms.

Also overnight Sunday, the IAF struck many terrorist targets throughout the Gaza Strip, including Hamas infrastructure used by terrorists to plan and carry out attacks and a Hamas sniper who carried out attacks on Israeli troops.

High-ranking Hamas official killed

An Israeli airstrike in western Gaza City on Sunday killed a top Hamas official, the terrorist group said.

Ehab al-Ghussein, deputy labor minister, was among four killed in the strike on the Holy Family School in Gaza City, Hamas said.

In addition to heading the labor portfolio since 2020, al-Ghussein, 45, was the head of the Emergency Committee for the Civil Service of the Northern Gaza Strip.

In May, his sister Muna Jamal and wife, Amani Sakee, reportedly died in an Israeli airstrike.

The Israeli military said it targeted “a complex inside of which terrorists were operating and hiding in the area of a school building in Gaza City,” without confirming if the Hamas official was hit.

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