Fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza intensifies as war reaches three month mark

Israeli naval, aerial and ground forces also continued to hammer targets along the Gaza coast


Smoke billowing over the Gaza Strip on January 4, 2024, amid continuing battles between Israel and Hamas (Photo: Getty)

(JNS) Heavy combat continued in the Hamas stronghold of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip as the war entered its 90th day on Thursday.

Over the past day, Israeli ground forces directed an air force craft to kill three terrorists trying to harm troops by planting a bomb, the IDF said. Also, soldiers killed two Hamas operatives who were hiding in a building and a fighter jet struck a Hamas weapons storage facility.

Additionally, an IAF craft struck a terrorist cell inside a launch post used to fire an anti-tank missile at IDF troops.

Khan Yunis is Gaza’s second-largest city and a personal stronghold of Hamas leader in the Strip Yahya Sinwar, whose family lives there.

In the central Gaza Strip, an IAF fighter jet directed by IDF troops struck a Hamas “military” structure used by an anti-tank operative from the terrorist group’s Deir al-Balah Battalion and then two other structures that terrorists fled to and where weapons were located. One terrorist was killed when he returned to the buildings looking for weapons.

IDF troops found long-range rocket launchers in the Bureij camp. Before the war, more than 46,000 refugees and refugees’ descendants were registered as living there, according to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Israeli naval, aerial and ground forces continued to hammer Hamas targets along the Gaza coast.

Rocket warning sirens sounded in the Ashkelon area and in communities close to the Gaza border on Thursday morning.

The IDF revealed on Wednesday that Sahar Baruch, whom Hamas terrorists took hostage during their Oct. 7 massacre of 1,200 persons in the northwest Negev, was killed last month during a rescue operation in the Gaza Strip.

The IDF has been unable to determine the exact cause of Baruch’s death during the December 8 rescue attempt, during which two Israeli soldiers were seriously wounded.

Kibbutz Be’eri announced on December 9 that Baruch, 25, a resident of the border community, died in Hamas captivity. It did not provide additional details.

“We demand the return of his body as part of any hostage deal. We won’t stop until everyone is home,” kibbutz officials said at the time.

Hamas still holds more than 120 hostages, not all of whom are believed to be alive. It has released 110 people, most in a ceasefire deal that Hamas violated on November 28.

In an update on Wednesday, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari, said: “The IDF is in a very high state of readiness in all arenas, in defence and offence. We are highly prepared for any scenario.

"The most important thing to say tonight is that we are focused and remain focused on fighting Hamas.” 

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