Taking Jabalia and Shuja’iyya
IDF’s 162nd Division forces are expected to begin a ground operation to take the city of Jabalia, and in the coming day, the operation will start in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood in eastern Gaza. Both these focal points have strong concentrations of Hamas battalions, joined by hundreds of armed individuals who fled from areas conquered by the IDF in the northern Strip. Civilians may also pose challenges as they are being used as human shields.
The 162nd Division of the IDF is expected to begin tonight (between Sunday and Monday) a ground operation to occupy the city of Jabalia, adjacent to Gaza. The operation will also include the conquest of the Jabalia refugee camp. Simultaneously, the military is expected to begin in the coming day, led by the 36th Division, an operation to occupy the Shuja’iyya neighborhood in eastern Gaza.
The city of Jabalia and the Shuja’iyya neighborhood are considered major and strong strongholds of Hamas. Over the years, the terrorist organization anticipated that the IDF would operate against it in a frontal war and first storm the urban areas adjacent to the border – as was in Operation Protective Edge. Therefore, Hamas concentrated its strongest battalions there, opposite the border with Israel.
Hundreds of Hamas Terrorists in the Yemeni Hospital
One of the sensitive targets in Jabalia, close to the border with Israel, will be the Yemeni hospital. Another reason for the expected difficulty for the army in Shuja’iyya and Jabalia stems from the fact that hundreds of Hamas armed terrorists fled there from other focal points conquered by the IDF in the northern Strip. In addition, the Palestinian civilian population that did not leave southward – and remained in their homes in these two focal points – is expected to complicate matters.
Meanwhile, this evening the IDF announced the elimination of the commander of the Hamas Shati Battalion, Haytham Al-Hawajri. According to the IDF, under his command, Hamas terrorists entered Israeli territory on October 7. Haytham Al-Hawajri also commanded the security of Hamas’s activities at Shifa Hospital and led the fighting against IDF forces in the Shati camp.
Before tonight’s planned operation, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi toured the Gaza Division today and spoke with the reservists in the sector. “We are looking at this lull, as far as Eliya in the northern Strip we dismantled two brigades of Hamas, not entirely yet – 162 is still working inside to deepen the achievement and harm more battalions,” the Chief of Staff told the soldiers.
He added: “Yesterday and today we killed battalion commanders, company commanders, many terrorists, and yesterday morning we began the same move in the southern Strip. It will be with no less power than that, it will be with no less results than that, and the commanders in Hamas will meet the IDF everywhere in a very, very strong way.”
According to the Chief of Staff, “I know that part of it is the capabilities, and a very big part of it is the fighting spirit that you bring and also the experience you bring as reservists. And we have the capabilities to do this in the most fundamental way, and just as we did it strong and fundamental in the northern Strip – we are also doing it now in the southern Strip and we are also continuing to deepen the achievement in the northern Strip.”