Israel’s military says it has nearly defeated Hamas’ military apparatus in northern Gaza, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) acknowledged “there remains work to be completed” in the territory and predicted more targets in the northern part of the Gaza Strip as the territory fell into darkness on Friday, the WSJ reported. Friday marked the third day of IDF operations at the Al-Shifa hospital, where many caregivers and at-risk patients have not evacuated despite multiple calls for civilians in northern Gaza to move southward ahead of IDF moves into the northern part of the enclave, CNN reported.
“We are close to dismantling the military system in the northern Gaza Strip,” IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The IDF secured a symbolically significant target in the Al-Shifa hospital complex, where Israel and the U.S. believe Hamas concealed a military command and control hub, the WSJ reported. The IDF released photos and videos of weapons it claimed Hamas stashed in the hospital as well as a video of a Hamas tunnel allegedly connected to the building.
However, it’s facing pressure to provide evidence of significant Hamas operations and hostage activity at the hospital while thousands of medical personnel and patients still occupied the building, the WSJ reported. Israel says it is providing humanitarian supplies and food to the hospital’s civilian occupants.
The IDF said it found the body of Cpl. Noa Marciano in a structure near Al-Shifa and that of Yehudit Weiss, a woman Hamas captured during the Oct 7. terrorist attacks on Israel, the WSJ reported.
Israeli Def. Min. Yoav Gallant said the IDF has completed the capture & clearing of western #Gaza City & that the “next phase has begun,” which is consistent w/ IDF advances toward eastern #GazaCity. 🧵⬇️ pic.twitter.com/5q6HOxJznc
— Institute for the Study of War (@TheStudyofWar) November 17, 2023
A communications blackout blanketed the territory Friday when fuel ran out, according to the WSJ. Israel had refused to allow fuel deliveries into Gaza save one exception, arguing that Hamas militants would steal it and use it to fight against Israeli troops.
Israel’s war cabinet late Thursday approved daily fuel deliveries into the southern parts of the Gaza Strip from Egypt after the Biden administration pushed Israel to take steps to alleviate the worsening humanitarian situation, Axios reported, citing two Israeli and U.S. officials.
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