Israel uncovers more weapons and terrorist infrastructure in Gaza

The IDF said that the Israeli air force “struck a number of launch posts used to fire rockets at Israelis across the country from inside the Gaza Strip. IDF troops in Jabalya identified a post launching rockets toward the city of Sderot. In response, the forces directed an aircraft that struck the launch post.” In addition, the IDF said they had conducted a raid on a Hamas compound where around “250 rockets, shells, and RPGs” were found. “IDF troops also struck a weapon production factory where they located hundreds of grenades, rockets, and M72 LAW rockets.”  

The IDF also said it found more weapons stashed in Jabalya, a neighborhood that has been the scene of heavy fighting in the past week. “The weapons cache located included RPG missiles and launchers of various types, explosive devices, grenades, AK-47 style rifles, magazines and military vests,” the IDF said. Israeli forces also demolished a house they said was used by Hamas as a command center, after first confiscating laptops and other items from the residence. 

South of Jabalya, the IDF paratrooper brigade engaged in neutralizing terrorist infrastructure, the IDF said. They apprehended and killed terrorists and found four underground tunnel networks. These are just several of the hundreds of tunnels destroyed since the ground operation by Israel began in late October. “Soldiers of the 7421st Battalion found ready-to-launch Grad missiles, hundreds of explosive devices, dozens of weapons, and a lathe used to produce rockets. Additionally, soldiers of the 202nd Battalion discovered several memory cards containing materials filmed by Hamas terrorists on Saturday, October 7th,” the IDF said. 

IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari also said on December 11 that the IDF was focused on dismantling Hamas terrorist infrastructure both under and above ground in Khan Yunis, areas recently captured from Hamas in early December. These types of operations — combing through urban areas and uncovering a plethora of weapons and other Hamas infrastructure — are key for the IDF as it continues to consolidate control.

The IDF said it located the bodies of two hostages, Eden Zakaria and Ziv Dado, and returned them to Israel. Zakaria was kidnapped from the music festival on October 7, and Dado was a member of a Golani brigade logistics unit when he was captured. The IDF did not specify when the two had been killed. 

Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea also continued on December 11. An anti-ship missile struck the commercial tanker Strinda on the evening of December 11. It caused damage but no injuries. The USS Mason responded to the ship’s mayday call, US Central Command said. The Houthis have vowed to attack ships bound for Israeli ports. The IDF said on December 12 that missile ships of the Israeli navy are continuing to operate in the Red Sea. These are designed to bolster defenses around Eilat. “This week, the INS Magen, a Sa’ar 6-class corvette, anchored in the port of Eilat for the first time, joining the Israeli navy’s operational activities,” the IDF said.  
The Israeli navy has also completed the operational “processing” of all four of the Sa’ar 6 ships, according to the IDF. This has taken place over two years. The ships were received from shipyards in Germany, and Israeli defense companies then outfitted them with various systems such as radars, missiles, guns, and the naval version of Iron Dome. “Since the beginning of the war in the Gaza Strip, the missile ship flotilla and naval security squadron have struck hundreds of targets and provided support to soldiers on the ground,” the IDF said on Tuesday. “Israeli navy soldiers have eliminated terrorists, including dozens active in Hamas’ naval forces. Most of the leaders of Hamas’ naval forces, which consist of hundreds of operatives specializing in carrying out maritime attacks, have also been targeted and killed.” 

The presence of Israeli naval ships off the coast of Gaza has enabled support for IDF ground forces as well. For instance, the Israeli navy carried out a strike on what it said was a terrorist cell firing at IDF ground troops in Gaza on December 12. The navy also interdicted several unmanned underwater vessels, the IDF said on Tuesday. The IDF also distributed an image of one of these underwater weapons. 

A number of attacks from Lebanon were carried out by Hezbollah on Tuesday. There was a drone threat in the morning, and several rockets were launched at Israel later in the day. Sirens sounded in the coastal city of Acre, north of Haifa, due to concerns that debris from an interception might impact the city, the IDF said. Israel also accused Hezbollah of launching rockets from near a U.N. compound in southern Lebanon. “By continuing to fire from areas near U.N. compounds, Hezbollah systematically violates UNSC Resolution 1701 and endangers the lives of UNIFIL soldiers. The UNIFIL head of mission and force commander was notified of the incident,” the IDF said. The incidents in the north reflect increased escalation at a time when Hamas continues to suffer losses in Gaza. 

Reporting from Israel, Seth J. Frantzman is an adjunct fellow at FDD and a contributor to FDD’s Long War Journal. He is the acting news editor and senior Middle East correspondent and analyst at The Jerusalem Post. 

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