IDF operations in northern Gaza’s Shejaiya neighborhood eliminate dozens of terrorists

Israeli forces operate in northern Gaza
Israeli forces operate in northern Gaza in July 2024. (IDF photo)

On July 5, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said soldiers eliminated around 100 terrorists and destroyed approximately 100 terrorist infrastructure sites during a week-long raid into northern Gaza’s Shejaiya neighborhood.

The raid launched overnight between June 27 and June 28 is the latest operation in which Israeli forces have re-entered a neighborhood in Gaza previously cleared of terrorists. The IDF has done similar raids in Shati, Jabaliya, and Zaytun in northern Gaza. The Shejaiya raid happened amid a renewed focus on hostage negotiations with Hamas that are taking place in Qatar.

Israeli forces found a large number of weapons in Shejaiya, the IDF said without specifying the exact types or quantity. “Over the past day, IDF troops eliminated a number of terrorists who fired at the troops in the area. In addition, the troops eliminated dozens of armed terrorists in close-quarters encounters and by means of tank fire,” the IDF stated on July 5.

Staff Sergeant Eyal Mimran of the IDF Paratrooper’s Brigade was killed fighting in Shejaiya on July 4. A total of 679 Israeli soldiers have been killed since Hamas’s attack on October 7, including those killed by Hezbollah attacks on northern Israel.

The battles in Shejaiya occurred as Israel conducted strikes on terror targets in other parts of Gaza. For instance, on July 4, terrorists launched projectiles toward Kibbutz Nahal Oz on the border, and the IDF retaliated with an airstrike within minutes of the attack. Hamas and other groups in Gaza continue to target Israeli border communities daily using mortars and short-range rockets, including 107mm rockets and other munitions that can be easily set up and launched by individuals or small terrorist cells.

Israel also continues to operate in southern Gaza’s Rafah, a campaign the IDF began in early May. “Over the past day, IDF troops eliminated dozens of terrorists and dismantled a number of booby-trapped structures in the area,” the IDF said on July 5. Overall, Israel estimates it has killed 900 terrorists in Rafah in two months of battles.

In general, the intensity of IDF operations has lessened across Gaza. However, there was a notable increase on July 4 and July 5, when the IDF said it struck 50 targets each day. Nevertheless, this total is less than the more than 200 daily strikes during the height of the war in Gaza in October and November 2023.

The IDF stated that one of the strikes on July 4 and 5 targeted terrorists operating at United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools: the Alqahirah School in Al-Furqan and the Musa School in Daraj Tuffah. Both are in northern Gaza, and the IDF called an area in Al-Furqan a “nest of terror” during the early days of the war.

The IDF stated that the schools were used as hideouts by Hamas. “Operatives planned, directed, and carried out numerous terror attacks against IDF troops operating in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said. “Prior to the strike, a number of steps were taken to mitigate harm to uninvolved civilians, including conducting aerial surveillance, using precise munition, and additional intelligence measures.”

The IDF also released footage it said shows Hamas abusing Gazan civilians. “In this video, you can see masked individuals, that according to Gazan civilians are Hamas operatives, beating and holding civilians captive after they attempted to enter a warehouse where humanitarian aid was stored,” the IDF said.

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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