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Day 167: Killing Hamas commanders serves hostage negotiations, says IDF chief Halevi during Shifa visit

IDF eliminates about 140 terrorists, confiscates over NIS 11 million at Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza

Herzi Halevi visiting IDF soldiers at Shifa Hospital, on March 20, 2024. (Photo: IDF)

The Israel Defense Forces' ongoing raid at the Shifa Hospital compound in Gaza City improves Israel’s position in the hostage deal negotiations alongside its operative benefits, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi said during a visit to the hospital on Wednesday.

“So far the results are good, but look, we are targeting the senior officials. [Eliminating Hamas leader] Marwan Issa, the arrest of senior officials, this is very, very important to put pressure on Hamas, it’s very important to put pressure on the negotiations as well,” Halevi said.

According to the IDF chief, Shifa Hospital is the best example to date of Hamas returning to an area that was already captured by the IDF.

“They turned it into a center of activity, a center of command and control, working from it, advancing from it the attempt to restore governance in the northern Gaza Strip.”

Israeli soldiers of the Navy commando unit Shayetet 13 and the 401st Brigade battlegroup eliminated over 50 terrorists in the area around Shifa Hospital over the last day, and located several weapons caches, the IDF announced on Thursday morning.

This brings the death toll of terrorists who have been eliminated during this specific operation to roughly 140.

The soldiers also located terror funds worth about NIS 11 million (over $3 million) and Jordanian dinars in the hospital.

IDF in a raid at Shifa Hospital in Gaza (Photo: IDF)

The IDF said that around 3,700 Gazan civilians passed through an army checkpoint near the hospital and, from there, evacuated toward the humanitarian zone in the southern Gaza Strip.

Approximately 300 of them were identified and detained as terror suspects, among them senior leaders and commanders.

As part of the operation, the IDF facilitated the transfer of a diesel truck and a humanitarian aid truck to the civilian population, which included about 1,800 liters of water and about 3.8 tons of food.

In central Gaza, the Nahal Brigade battlegroup continues to fight two remaining Hamas battalions and eliminated around 20 terrorists in the last 24 hours.

In southern Gaza, soldiers of the 98th Division launched a large operation in the area of al-Karara in northern Khan Younis and destroyed the remaining infrastructure.

The 7th Brigade battlegroup eliminated several terrorists who approached them, located many weapons, and destroyed dozens of terrorist infrastructure sites, including a launch pit.

The operation began with an Air Force attack and has been receiving ongoing air support. Israeli forces struck several targets and eliminated terrorists.

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

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