Israel Hits Hamas Bunkers, Hostages Found DeadWorld | November 17, 2023, Friday // 10:56| views
In the past few days, the Israeli army has struck two underground facilities in which it believes senior commanders and leadership of the Islamist movement "Hamas" are being held.
This was announced to journalists by the chief spokesman of the Israel Defense Forces, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari. He said "several" commanders were hiding in one of the bunkers, including Ahmed Randor, commander of a brigade in northern Gaza, and Ahmed Siam, commander of Hamas' rocket brigade.
In the second underground bunker, he said, there were members of the senior political leadership of Hamas, people from the inner circle of the group's leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinuwar: the head of the government of Hamas in the Strip, Assam Dalis, as well as Rawhi Mushta and Sameh el Sarg.
Hagari did not specify whether these Hamas representatives were killed, but spoke of significant damage. Israel claims it is beginning a "second phase" of the war; According to the Chief of the General Staff of the Army, Herzi Halevi, Israel will soon achieve its goal of destroying Hamas operations in northern Gaza.
Last night there were also reports of Israeli attacks on targets in Syria - with the Bashar al-Assad regime saying the missiles were shot down in the vicinity of Damascus - and operations in Jenin, in the West Bank, and drone strikes in that occupied territory (still a comparative rarity in the war) with at least five dead according to health authorities in Ramallah (the Israeli army said five terrorists were killed and weapons seized). At least 190 Palestinians have been killed since the war began, according to the West Bank health ministry.
In Gaza itself, mobile and internet services were once again reported to be down, with Palestinian telecommunications companies saying the cause was fuel shortages leaving generators without power. There, according to Palestinian figures, 11,470 people were killed in the bombing and ground operation that began after Hamas killed 1,200 people in Israel.
Hours earlier, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced that the western part of Gaza City had been taken under control.
According to him, this part of the city has been completely "cleansed" of fighters and infrastructure of the movement. According to Gallant, "important finds" were also found at Al-Shifa, but did not specify what. More than 48 hours after the operation began in Gaza's largest hospital, it continues amid international criticism as Israel claims it houses the movement's command center. So far, only the presence of a Hamas tunnel in the hospital is known, along with a car bomb (presumably intended for the October 7 attack) and a weapons cache.
So far, along with the Al-Shifa tunnel, weapons rooms have been shown in two other major hospitals in Gaza, Al Quds and Ar Rantisi.
However, the body of a hostage - a citizen of Israel - was also found in one of the buildings of "Al-Shifa", the army also announced. It is Yehudith Weiss, kidnapped from Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7. Weapons were found in the same building, including Kalashnikov assault rifles and hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers. Israel announced that Weiss was "killed by terrorists"; an activist group claims she was recovering from breast cancer but didn't have her medication when she was abducted.
It did not say which building in the sprawling compound Weiss, 65, was found in, among 240 hostages taken by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza on Oct. 7. A 2014 Amnesty International report indicated that Hamas was using an outpatient facility to detain and torture dissidents and political opponents in Gaza.
This morning it was also reported that the body of a captured woman who served in the army was found near Al-Shifa. A video of her surfaced on Monday; at first she was alive, and later "Hamas" showed her dead - killed, according to the movement, in an Israeli strike. Hamas said weeks ago that Israeli airstrikes killed at least 50 hostages.
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