IDF says it has completed encirclement of Gaza’s Jabaliya amid battles with gunmen

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

The IDF says its 162nd Division has completed the encirclement of northern Gaza’s Jabaliya, and is ready to deepen the fighting.

It says the 215th Artillery Regiment and the Air Force carried out heavy strikes in Jabaliya to “prepare the ground for battle.”

On the outskirts of Jabaliya, three tunnel entrances, with Hamas operatives inside, were struck, the IDF says.

The army says troops of the 401st Armored Brigade and Nahal Infantry Brigade battled Hamas operatives on Jabaliya’s outskirts, with air support. The forces also found and destroyed rocket launchers in the area.

Troops of the 551st Reserve Brigade and other special forces operated in the northern part of Jabaliya, working to open up a route for the division to maneuver, the IDF says. It says troops killed several Hamas gunmen, seized weapons, and destroyed tunnels.

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