Israel Aid

IDF Updates – December 17th

IDF: A short while ago, a number of launches from Lebanese territory toward the areas of Arab al-Aramshe, Sasa, and Dovev in northern Israel were identified. IDF artillery is striking the sources of the fire in Lebanon.

In addition, a number of launches from Lebanon which did not cross into Israeli territory were identified.

Furthermore, a short while ago, the IDF struck Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure in Lebanon.

Attached is a video of the strike on Hezbollah infrastructure:

IDF: IDF troops are continuing to operate against terrorist targets and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip

IDF ground troops conducted a targeted raid on an operational center in the area of Shejaiya, where weapons, explosive devices, AK-47s and grenades were found. The soldiers also located an attack tunnel shaft over 15 meters in length from which Hamas previously carried out attacks against troops. The troops directed an IAF aircraft to strike the shaft.

During an additional incident, IDF troops destroyed a weapons storage facility located inside the residence of a Hamas terrorist operative. This was a significant armament center for terrorist cells in the area. Moreover, the troops identified seven terrorists in the area of Khan Yunis. In response, the troops directed an IAF aircraft to the terrorists’ location, where they were subsequently killed.

Furthermore, IDF ground troops operated in a structure where rocket manufacturing parts were found near to an UNWRA school. In addition, three terror tunnel shafts were identified near the school.

Attached is video footage of the IDF strikes in the Gaza Strip:

Attached are photos of the weapons, shafts, and weapons manufacturing lathes located by the IDF ground troops:

IDF: Tunnel Shaft in a Children’s Room

During activity in Jabalya, the Nahal Brigade located an operational tunnel shaft inside a children’s room in the basement of a building. This shaft included built-in stairs and was destroyed by the brigade’s engineering forces.

Attached is footage and an explanation by the 931st Battalion Company Commander, Major Alon:

IDF: The 7th Brigade’s operations in the city of Khan Yunis

The 7th Brigade is operating in Khan Yunis, where it struck the Hamas’ Khan Yunis Brigade Commander’s office and terrorist infrastructure. The forces gained operational control over the area, including the Bani Suheila Square in the heart of Khan Yunis.

In the past week, the 7th Brigade forces eliminated numerous terrorists, located approximately 30 tunnel shafts, and destroyed numerous anti-tank and lookout posts in the area. They also confiscated grenades and RPGs, and found intelligence materials including phones, computers and Hamas guidebooks.

The soldiers also conducted a targeted raid on Hamas’ Deir Al Balah Battalion post and seized intelligence materials. The forces also operated against the residence of a Nukhba terrorist, where they found weapons and equipment belonging to the Hamas’ naval forces.

Attached is footage of the weapons found in the Nukhba terrorist’s house:

IDF: Earlier today (Sunday), a launch from Lebanon toward the area of Rosh HaNikra in northern Israel was identified. An IDF tank struck the source of the launch.

A short while ago, an IAF fighter jet and a helicopter also struck Hezbollah terror infrastructure and a military compound in Lebanon.

In addition, earlier today, an IDF aircraft struck a terrorist cell that was identified in Lebanon. Furthermore, an IDF aircraft and tanks struck Hezbollah weapons and observations means in Lebanon.

Attached is a related video:

IDF: Sinwar’s Subterranean Tunnel System: IDF exposes the biggest Hamas tunnel found in Gaza, 400 meters from the Erez Humanitarian Crossing

Until October 6th, the Erez Humanitarian Crossing, operated by COGAT’s Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) for Gaza, served as a symbol of hope and coexistence. Thousands of Palestinians would cross into Israel for work and medical treatment. The IDF exposed Hamas subterranean tunnel system of attack tunnels built in the immediate vicinity of the Erez crossing. This massive tunnel system, splits into branches of tunnels, spans well over four kilometers (2.5 miles) and reaches only 400 meters (1,310 feet) from the Erez crossing. This subterranean tunnel system was a project led by Muhammad Sinwar, the brother of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.

To date, the IDF has exposed hundreds of terror tunnel shafts throughout the Gaza Strip. Many are built from reinforced concrete and are equipped with electricity, ventilation, sewage, communication networks and rails, like the one we are exposing. Over the past 70 days, the IDF has exposed multiple examples where these tunnels were built under hospitals, schools, kindergartens and other sensitive sites. The IDF continues to use advanced operational, intelligence and technological means to eliminate Hamas’ network of terror tunnels across the Gaza Strip.

The ground forces, using operational field intelligence, have provided a lot of information about Hamas’ terror tunnels project, and have helped to advance both our knowledge and our maps of the tunnels. From the beginning of the war till now, the IDF has been operating to locate and destroy dozens of attack tunnel routes, as part of the systematic dismantling of Hamas infrastructure.

“Hamas has persistently and deliberately invested enormous amounts of money and resources into terrorist tunnels that serve only one purpose – attacking the State of Israel and its residents. This strategic attack tunnel network, large enough to drive vehicles through, was spearheaded by Muhammad Sinwar and intentionally dug near a crossing dedicated to the movement of Gazans into Israel for work and medical care,” said Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, the IDF International Spokesperson. “For Hamas, attacking the people of Israel continues to take priority over supporting the people of Gaza.”

Erez Crossing:

The Erez Crossing is operated by the Ministry of Defense and is the primary pedestrian crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. The Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) in COGAT, the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories, operates from near the crossing, coordinating all of the humanitarian and civilian activities between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The crossing served as a key point for Gazans to enter Israel for both labor and humanitarian purposes. In 2022, over 800,000 Gazans crossed via Erez Crossing; in the first half of 2023, 550,000 did, putting the crossing on track to facilitate over one million crossings this year. The crossing also supported passage of some 18,500 Gazan workers with Israeli work permits, where the average salary is six times higher than in Gaza. These workers made a significant contribution to the prosperity and growth of the Gazan economy. Furthermore, over 7,000 Gazans entered Israel via Erez to receive medical treatment in 2022 and another 5,000 received permits in the first half of 2023.

A Focal Point of Hamas’ October 7th Invasion:

On October 7th, the very crossing dedicated to the movement of people between Gaza and Israel was attacked by Hamas. During Hamas’ invasion of southern Israel, terrorists rampaged the crossing and killed and abducted IDF soldiers who were on duty there. On Friday (15/12/2023), the bodies of two IDF soldiers – CPL Nik Beizer and SGT Ron Sherman – who had been abducted from the Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) for Gaza base on October 7th, were recovered and returned to Israel in an IDF operation in the heart of Gaza.

The tunnel was secured by IDF forces a few weeks ago, as part of the IDF’s defensive efforts to restore security to the area. There is no evidence that the tunnel extends into Israel from the Gaza Strip.

About the Tunnel:

The complex tunnel network was constructed by a team of dozens of specifically trained operatives from southern Gaza. The team leveraged dedicated digging equipment that was smuggled into Gaza to excavate the tunnel. The tunnel reaches as deep as 50 meters underground, is over four kilometers long, and is at points wide enough for a large vehicle to drive through.

Like other tunnels throughout Gaza, the tunnel network has multiple branches, electricity and sewage facilities installed, and blast doors to block access. The tunnel displays other construction characteristics, such as extensive concrete arches and multiple access shafts.

Over the past few weeks, IDF ground forces and combat engineering forces from the Gaza Division, including soldiers from the Yahalom Unit have been conducting an extensive operation against Hamas’ terror tunnels. The unit leverages advanced technological capabilities to expose, assess, secure and dismantle Hamas terrorist tunnels.

The IDF is continuing to use various operational and technological means to eliminate Hamas’ network of attack terror tunnels across the Gaza Strip.

Attached is an aerial photo showing part of the tunnel route:

Attached is an animated infographic of the tunnel:

Attached is footage of the construction of the tunnel from the cameras of the Hamas terrorist organization:

Attached is footage of Hamas’ terrorist attack on the Erez humanitarian crossing on October 7th, as well as materials from the crossing before and after the attack:
(Footage provided by the Israel Ministry of Defense’s Crossing Authority)

Attached is footage taken by a drone:

Attached is footage of the soldier’s activity to expose and examine the tunnel:

Attached is a sync of the Commanding Officer of the Northern Gaza Brigade, COL Haim Cohen from inside the tunnel:

Attached are photos of footage from the tunnel’s construction workshop:

Attached are photos from the excavation and examination of the tunnel by the IDF soldiers:

IDF: A short while ago, a terrorist cell that attempted to launch anti-tank missiles toward the area of Livneh in northern Israel was struck by an IDF aircraft and tank.

A short while ago, a number of launches toward several locations along the border in northern Israel were identified. The IDF struck the sources of the launches in Lebanon.

Attached is a video of the strike on the terrorist cell:

IDF: Following the press release earlier today regarding the exposure of terror tunnels near the Erez Crossing in the Gaza Strip, attached is footage of Muhammed Sinwar traveling in a car inside the tunnel. The footage was obtained by IDF troops in the Gaza Strip and was checked by the IDF Intelligence Directorate:

IDF: Following the tragic incident where three Israeli hostages were mistakenly killed by IDF soldiers, searches were conducted in a building adjacent to where the incident took place. Signs calling for help, apparently using leftover food were located. Based on a field investigation, it appears that the three hostages were in the building where the signs were located, for some period of time.
The incident is under review.
The IDF has notified the families with the additional findings that have been found so far, and will continue to do so.
Attached are photos of the findings:

IDF: The Chief of the General Staff held a situational assessment today (Sunday) with the commanders and soldiers of the 99th Division in the Gaza Strip.

Attached is the footage of the Chief of the General Staff’s meeting with the soldiers:

Footage on the subject is attached:

Attached are photos on the subject:

IDF: The Chief of the General Staff held a situational assessment today (Sunday) with the commanders and soldiers of the 99th Division in the Gaza Strip.

Attached is the footage of the Chief of the General Staff’s meeting with the soldiers:

Footage on the subject is attached:

Attached are photos on the subject:

Attached are the full remarks of the Chief of the General Staff:
“I tell you very simply – this situation is a very difficult and painful one, and no one will come and say otherwise. But beyond that, and we all understand this, I don’t need to come and tell you this. I tell you that this situation could easily have not happened. Think about it, why did we start the ground operation? We set three goals: to dismantle Hamas, to restore security to the residents of the communities near the Gaza Strip, and you here on the corridor, from which such harsh attacks on Be’eri originated, and the third task is the return of the hostages. Now we all very much want this. And I tell you, in this situation, three people came out, they took into account that they are taking a risk by approaching IDF troops, to minimize the risk they really thought, they took off their shirts so that no one would think they have an explosive device and held a white cloth on a pole to identify themselves, they came speaking Hebrew, calling for help. And we really, our soldiers whom I haven’t met yet, but I’m sure they are the best because everyone wants to do well, and I’m sure they were confident they were doing the right thing. I’m speaking to you not to say if they were right or wrong, but so that we will be right going forward. You see two people, they are with hands up and without shirts, take two seconds, and I want to tell you something just as important, and if it’s two Gazans with a white flag coming out to surrender why would we shoot at them? Absolutely not. Absolutely not. That’s not the IDF. I’m telling you whoever got confused here, even those who fought and now lay down their arms and raise their hands, we arrest them, we don’t shoot them. We get a lot of intelligence from the captives we have, we already have over a thousand. We don’t shoot them because the IDF doesn’t shoot a person who raises their hands. That’s strength, not weakness. And I tell you, I remember, what I said to my soldiers as a battalion commander before entering into Cast Lead, the last sentence in the briefing before fighting. Use your head. We always feel that fighting is with the hands, fighting is with the feet. I tell you gentlemen, don’t stop thinking for a second in combat. Whoever succeeds during the fighting to also uses his head, he hits the enemy better, gets hit less, he performs tactics better, he hurts our forces less, everything he does better, he is sharper on the environment, he identifies things. Always ask yourself questions, always work with your head, and hopefully, we will have another opportunity where captives will come to us or we will reach a house, and do the right thing. Continue to do excellent work, it is a great and strong force and we will need it going forward with the commanders, pass this also to all the soldiers.”

IDF: “So far, we have uncovered more than four kilometres of the tunnel route – a flagship project of Hamas. It reaches a depth of fifty meters underground. Inside the tunnels, we found many weapons. The tunnel did not cross into Israeli territory and was dug near the Erez Crossing, a place that enabled thousands of Palestinians to cross for employment and urgent medical treatment. On October 7th, Hamas chose to attack and massacre in it – at this crossing that was a symbol of hope for Palestinians. This was Hamas’s choice.”

Please find attached the translated evening briefing by the IDF Spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari:

IDF: A short while ago, an IDF fighter jet struck Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure in Lebanon.

In addition, an IDF aircraft struck a terrorist cell in Lebanon that attempted to launch an anti-tank missile.

Attached is a related video:

IDF: Please find attached an English statement by the IDF Spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari:

“Since the Hamas massacre of October 7th, Hezbollah has been increasing its attacks against Israel: firing rockets, missiles and drones; killing Israeli civilians and soldiers;
and displacing over 80,000
Israelis from their homes in
the north.

Since Hezbollah began its attacks, the IDF has been responding by striking Hezbollah targets in Lebanon.

Hezbollah — a proxy of Iran — is dragging Lebanon into an unnecessary war that would have devastating consequences for the people of Lebanon. This is a war that they do not deserve.

When it comes to existential threats, we regard every day
as though it’s October 6th, so that the Hamas massacre of October 7th never happens again — on any one of our borders.

The facts on the ground speak for themselves:
Hezbollah’s violations of UN Resolution 1701 have rendered it effectively null and void.

Until there is an effective solution in place — that ensures the security of our people — the IDF will continue fulfilling its duty: Defending the citizens
of Israel and Israel’s sovereignty.

Until and unless a diplomatic solution is found and implemented: We will continue making the necessary preparations to remove the threat from our border.”

A Message from Shalom