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Israel uncovers more weapons and terrorist infrastructure in Gaza


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FDD Long War Journal

Seth Frantzman

December 12, 2023

The IDF said that the Israeli air force “struck a number of launch posts used to fire rockets at Israelis across the country from inside the Gaza Strip. IDF troops in Jabalya identified a post launching rockets toward the city of Sderot. In response, the forces directed an aircraft that struck the launch post.” In addition, the IDF said they had conducted a raid on a Hamas compound where around “250 rockets, shells, and RPGs” were found. “IDF troops also struck a weapon production factory where they located hundreds of grenades, rockets, and M72 LAW rockets.”  

The IDF also said it found more weapons stashed in Jabalya, a neighborhood that has been the scene of heavy fighting in the past week. “The weapons cache located included RPG missiles and launchers of various types, explosive devices, grenades, AK-47 style rifles, magazines and military vests,” the IDF said. Israeli forces also demolished a house they said was used by Hamas as a command center, after first confiscating laptops and other items from the residence. 

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The presence of Israeli naval ships off the coast of Gaza has enabled support for IDF ground forces as well. For instance, the Israeli navy carried out a strike on what it said was a terrorist cell firing at IDF ground troops in Gaza on December 12. The navy also interdicted several unmanned underwater vessels, the IDF said on Tuesday. The IDF also distributed an image of one of these underwater weapons. 

A number of attacks from Lebanon were carried out by Hezbollah on Tuesday. There was a drone threat in the morning, and several rockets were launched at Israel later in the day. Sirens sounded in the coastal city of Acre, north of Haifa, due to concerns that debris from an interception might impact the city, the IDF said. Israel also accused Hezbollah of launching rockets from near a U.N. compound in southern Lebanon. “By continuing to fire from areas near U.N. compounds, Hezbollah systematically violates UNSC Resolution 1701 and endangers the lives of UNIFIL soldiers. The UNIFIL head of mission and force commander was notified of the incident,” the IDF said. The incidents in the north reflect increased escalation at a time when Hamas continues to suffer losses in Gaza. 

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IDF faces tough battles in Gaza City neighborhoods
Seth Frantzman

December 13, 2023

Israel Defense Forces infantry faced a tough battle in the Gaza neighborhood of Shujaiya between December 12 and 13 as ten IDF soldiers were killed, including the commander of the Golani brigade’s 13th battalion, Lt. Col Tomer Grinberg. Grinberg had been interviewed several times in the wake of the Hamas October 7 attack on Israel. Golani, one of Israel’s infantry brigades, suffered high casualties on October 7 and has played a key role in operations in Gaza.

The heavy losses in Shujaiya make the battle one of the costliest since the Israel launched its ground maneuver in Gaza. Israel has lost 115 IDF soldiers in operations in Gaza and 444 total since the war began. Several hundred soldiers were killed in the first few days of fighting during and after the surprise attack on October 7. The IDF said on Wednesday, December 13 that Israeli forces are “operating deep” in Shujaiya and that “the troops have been targeting terrorist infrastructure and operatives in the Shujaiya Kasbah.” This area of the neighborhood is heavily built up and Hamas terrorists are still operating out of tunnels, the IDF said. “This is an advanced stage of our efforts to clear the area of Hamas terrorists and dismantle its capabilities.”

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In southern Israel, the Iran-backed Houthi threats to shipping also led to the deployment of another naval ship in the Red Sea, as Israel’s president slammed the Houthis for their attacks. “The Houthis have crossed a red line in the Red Sea,” Israel’s President Isaac Herzog said. “The US-led international activities against the Houthi terror-pirates must be bolstered and strengthened in the form of a truly international coalition,” he noted. He called for the international community to act in the wake of numerous attacks by the Houthis on ships in the Red Sea. The Houthis have also targeted Israel with missiles and drones since mid-October.

As part of Israel’s messaging about its defense preparations near the Red Sea, the Israel Ministry of Defense released new images of Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system in southern Israel. Since October, Israel has used its Arrow 3, an air defense missile that intercepts long-range ballistic missiles, and F-35s to intercept threats from Yemen. The Ministry of Defense said on December 13 that the Iron Dome has also had recent successful interceptions in southern Israel.

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