IDF carries out Gaza airstrikes, neutralizes bombs planted in daycare center

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

IDF soldiers operating in the Gaza Strip in an undated photo released December, 31, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF soldiers operating in the Gaza Strip in an undated photo released December, 31, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli Air Force fighter jets carried out a wave of airstrikes overnight in the Gaza Strip, as ground operations continue.

The IDF says the dozens of targets included Hamas military buildings, a tunnel, and other infrastructure.

The Navy also carried out strikes along Gaza’s coast, aiding the ground forces.

South of Gaza City, the IDF says troops of the 179th Brigade spotted four Hamas operatives with explosive devices approaching them. An airstrike was carried out against the cell.

Half an hour later, the IDF says troops spotted another four Hamas operatives in the area, who were also struck by the IAF.

At the same time, a vehicle with Hamas operatives inside driving toward the troops was also struck, the IDF says.

An IAF fighter jet also struck a building from which Hamas activated an explosive device against the troops, according to the IDF.

In northern Gaza’s Beit Lahiya, the IDF says troops of the 551st Brigade spotted three Hamas operatives entering a building, and called in an airstrike.

Meanwhile, during scans in the outskirts of the Shati camp in northern Gaza, the IDF says troops of the 14th Brigade located and neutralized anti-personnel explosive devices planted in a daycare center.

In southern Gaza, the IDF says several Hamas tunnels were discovered by the so-called Bedouin Trackers unit, officially called the Desert Reconnaissance unit, which is operating under the Gaza Division’s Southern Brigade.

Also in southern Gaza, troops of the Paratroopers Brigade identified three Hamas operatives in the Khan Younis area and called in an airstrike, killing one. The other two gunmen, wielding RPGs, were later spotted between two buildings and were killed by tank shelling, according to the IDF.

The IDF says the 7th Armored Brigade, also operating in southern Gaza, spotted  three Hamas operatives and directed an airstrike to kill them.

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