IDF starts moving ground forces into Gaza’s Zeitoun, Jabaliya neighborhoods

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

IDF soldiers in the Gaza Strip in a handout photo distributed on November 18, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF soldiers in the Gaza Strip in a handout photo distributed on November 18, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces says it is expanding operations in the Gaza Strip, with offensives being carried out by the 36th Division in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, and the 162nd Division in Jabaliya. Both the areas are regarded as Hamas strongholds.

In a statement, the IDF says the Southern Command “continues expanding its operational activities in additional neighborhoods” and is working to “target terrorists and strike Hamas infrastructure.”

It says the 36th Division is operating against Hamas’s Zeitoun battalion in the Gaza City neighborhood.

The military publishes footage showing troops of the Golani Infantry Brigade — subordinate to the 36th Division — fighting Hamas operatives who fired RPGs at them in Zeitoun.

“In parallel, additional troops are operating on the outskirts of Zeitoun, including Sheikh Ijlin and Rimal, clearing the areas from terrorists and striking terror infrastructure,” the IDF says.

The 162nd Divison is meanwhile operating on the outskirts of Jabaliya, the IDF says.

“The area houses the command and control center of [Hamas]’s northern Gaza brigade, and is where one of the most significant terror strongholds is located, in which four Hamas battalions are operating,” it says.

The IDF says that engineering forces, infantry and tanks, along with air support, have encountered several Hamas operatives who “intentionally operate from within civilian areas, and attempt to attack the troops using anti-tank missiles and explosive devices.”

“During the encounters, numerous terrorists were killed and the troops struck a large number of terror infrastructures, including underground infrastructure and significant targets of the terrorist organization,” the IDF says.

Another clip published by the military shows a strike on two Hamas operatives who the IDF says were attempting to booby-trap a building in the Gaza Strip.

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