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Day 132: Israeli troops search for hostages in Khan Younis hospital, launch raids in northern Gaza

‘Credible intelligence Hamas held hostages at Nasser Hospital,’ says IDF spokesman

IDF forces operating in Khan Younis, southern Gaza (Photo: IDF)

Troops of the Israel Defense Forces launched a major operation to search for Israeli hostages in the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, while the fighting in the town has continued to advance slowly in recent days, the IDF stated on Thursday.

Israeli soldiers continued battling pockets of Hamas resistance in northern Gaza, with targeted raids and airstrikes.

The IDF received “credible intelligence” that Hamas was holding hostages at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis and began a “precise and limited” operation searching the premises, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari said in a statement on Thursday.

According to Hagari, the army had “credible intelligence from a number of sources, including from released hostages, indicating that Hamas held hostages at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis and that there may be bodies of our hostages in the Nasser Hospital facility.”

“This sensitive operation was prepared with precision and is being conducted by IDF special forces who underwent specified training,” Hagari added.

The IDF also transferred medical supplies, oxygen tanks, and fuel for electricity to the hospital in recent days to ensure its basic functions could continue, and opened a humanitarian corridor to enable people to leave the hospital area.

“We have doctors and Arabic-speaking IDF officers on the ground to communicate to the staff and patients inside the Nasser Hospital. Our message to them is clear: We seek no harm to innocent civilians. We seek to find our hostages and bring them home,” Hagari said.

Several suspects were arrested by the IDF. Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry criticized the “massive incursion” into the hospital, claiming that at least one patient was killed and six others were wounded by Israeli fire.

According to the IDF’s intelligence assessments, over 85% of “major medical facilities” in Gaza were used by Hamas terrorists, Hagari said, adding, “As was proven with the Shifa Hospital, Rantisi Hospital, Al Amal Hospital, and many other hospitals across Gaza, Hamas systematically uses hospitals as terror hubs.”

In other parts of Khan Younis, the fighting between Israeli forces and remaining Hamas battalions in the area continued unabated during the past 24 hours.

The 646th Brigade battlegroup directed an aircraft that struck and eliminated two Hamas spotters who were identified near them.

IDF soldiers of the 7th Brigade eliminated several terrorists by sniper fire and tank shelling in the western part of town. They also located Kalashnikov rifles, grenades, ammunition and explosive charges in raids carried out in the area.

In the past days, soldiers of the Commando Division carried out raids on significant terror targets in western Khan Younis, locating tunnel shafts and eliminating several terrorists in the process.

The 215th Artillery Brigade has been planning and carrying out targeted eliminations in Gaza City and the northern part of the Strip over the last few days, eliminating about 15 Hamas terrorists in the last 24 hours alone.

Among them was an operative in Hamas’ general security and some terrorists who took part in the brutal attack on Oct. 7.

In the central area of the Strip, the Nahal Brigade battlegroup killed several terrorists during raids. Together with the Air Force, the Brigade’s fire center eliminated an observation commander of Hamas.

In another operation, an Israeli Navy ship detected a terrorist squad approaching Israeli forces and cooperated with the ground forces to eliminate it.

The Air Force also continued its support of the ground forces, completing several waves of airstrikes that destroyed Hamas military buildings and rocket launchers.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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