Hagari: IDF Fighting Hamas’ Zaytun Batalion in Gaza

IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari gives a statement to the media in Tel Aviv on October 16, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari updated the nation Monday evening on the army’s progress in the war against the Hamas terror group.

“In the past days, our soldiers have been in frontal battles with terrorists from Hamas’ ‘Zaytun’ Battalion,” Hagari said. “This is one of the key battalions of the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip.”

IDF soldiers “located and destroyed much of the battalion’s resources, including factories for the production of rockets and weapons, terrorist and intelligence materials, and headquarters, all of which are located inside or near schools, mosques and other humanitarian complexes,” Hagari explained.

Hagari stressed that Hamas uses human shields and civilian infrastructure to launch terror attacks.

“This is Hamas’ method of operation, to use the civilian population as a human shield,” he said.

“In addition, the soldiers from the 188th Brigade located inside a mosque, a factory that produced weapons and UAVs…they discovered a tunnel shaft.

“In addition to this tunnel shaft, the soldiers went further below and discovered a workshop for making rockets. Terrorists making rockets inside a mosque, taking advantage of Islam and the symbols of Islam in order to produce terrorism.

“Every time, before soldiers engage in combat, the IAF conducts a wide series of strikes directed at removing threats to the ground forces and creating optimal conditions for ground operations. The soldiers continue to advance according to plan. This takes time because of efforts to ensure the security of our soldiers, preliminary action by the IAF, the conducting of searches, and the need to detect explosives and booby-traps. This takes time and it is good that it does, it requires patience and this is how we will continue to act.

“In the north, the IDF struck with fighter jets, combat helicopters and tanks, Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure and eliminated terrorist cells in Lebanese territory. It was a very broad strike in which we eliminated Hezbollah terrorists who fired rockets at us, and a squad that tried to fire anti-tank missiles into Israeli territory. We responded in a very firm manner to the shooting toward our territory. Hezbollah’s launches struck Israeli territory. Three aircraft were launched and one hit an outpost. There were no casualties in the north.”

Three hundred eighty eight families of fallen IDF soldiers have been notified to date.

Hagari noted that today is being celebrated worldwide as International Children’s Day. “At this moment, 40 boys and girls are being held in the Gaza Strip,” Hagari said. “The people responsible for this crime are the Hamas leadership, led by Yahya Sinwar.

“We and the entire world have a moral obligation to return these children and all the hostages home. To the families of the hostages – we will do everything, everything to make this happen.”

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