ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Footage shows numerous Gaza terror suspects who apparently surrendered to IDF troops

IDF spokesperson says Israel questioning individuals suspected of ties to terror groups amid ground operations

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Palestinian men said to have surrendered to the IDF in the Jabaliya area of northern Gaza on December 7, 2023. (Social media: used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)
Palestinian men said to have surrendered to the IDF in the Jabaliya area of northern Gaza on December 7, 2023. (Social media: used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)

Several clips and photos circulating on social media Thursday showed dozens of Palestinians rounded up by the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza after apparently surrendering to troops, as the military pressed its campaign in the territory.

The men, suspected of involvement with Hamas and other terror groups, were seen stripped down to their underwear, blindfolded, and with their hands tied behind their backs, being held by Israeli troops in northern Gaza’s Jabaliya.

In one clip, a group was seen being transported in the back of Israeli military vehicles.

IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari appeared to confirm in his evening briefing that the men had surrendered to the army, in response to a question on the matter.

“Jabaliya and Shejaiya are ‘centers of gravity’… for terrorists, and we are fighting them. They are hiding underground and come out and we fight them.

“Whoever is left in those areas, they come out from tunnel shafts, and some from buildings, and we investigate who is linked to Hamas, and who isn’t. We arrest them all and interrogate them,” Hagari said.

Palestinian men said to have surrendered to the IDF in Gaza on December 7, 2023. (Social media: used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)

The vast majority of the civilian population departed the north of the Strip weeks ago, as Israel warned residents to head south as it focused its ground offensive on the north.

In the past week, it has expanded its operations to Khan Younis in southern Gaza too, where Hamas’s leadership is suspected to be hiding.

The IDF also released footage Thursday obtained from the bodycam of a Hamas gunman during fighting in Jabaliya, showing armed members of the terror group crawling inside a building as they attempted to target an Israeli position.

The army said the Nahal Brigade encountered the gunmen, who fired anti-tank missiles at troops. The cell was struck by a drone. Another member of the cell was killed by the troops, and the camera was found on his body.

The IDF also released footage showing the Border Defense Corps’ 636th Combat Intelligence Collection unit identifying a group of Hamas operatives, armed with RPGs, approaching troops of the Golani Infantry Brigade in the northern Gaza Strip.

The operatives were seen opening fire at the forces in the clip. The unit called in an airstrike, killing all members of the cell, according to the IDF.

According to the United Nations, more than 80 percent of Gazans are thought to be displaced from their homes in the ongoing war, which was triggered when Hamas terrorists stormed the border, killing around 1,200 people in Israel and taking 240 hostage, some 140 of whom are believed to still be held in the Strip.

With northern and central Gaza seeing intense fighting, Palestinians are heading further south to Rafah and other areas along the border with Egypt, where family homes are packed tight and makeshift shelters are overflowing.

Palestinian men said to have surrendered to the IDF in northern Gaza on December 7, 2023. (Social media: used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)

Tens of thousands of people have fled from Khan Younis and other areas to Rafah, on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt.

On the other side of the border, Egypt has deployed thousands of troops and erected barriers to prevent any mass influx of refugees.

Times of Israel staff and Agencies contributed to this report.

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