April 18, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Arrests Terrorists Hiding in School in Northern Gaza

April 18, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Arrests Terrorists Hiding in School in Northern Gaza

Latest Developments

Israeli soldiers arrested Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists hiding in a school in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on April 17. “Over the past week, IDF and ISA [Internal Security Agency] forces under the command of the Northern Brigade of the Gaza Division carried out a targeted operation in a civilian area in Beit Hanoun following intelligence indications of the presence of terrorists in the area,” the IDF said. The terrorists were using civilians as human shields, the IDF noted. “Additionally, during the activity, a number of terrorists who attempted to harm the forces were eliminated,” the IDF said.

The operation is one of a number of recent raids Israeli forces have carried out in the central and northern Gaza Strip. In March, Israeli security forces detained 800 suspects at Shifa Hospital in Gaza, and the IDF carried out recent operations in Shati, Zaytun, and Nuseirat in the coastal enclave. These developments come after the IDF withdrew many of its forces from Gaza in early April.

Expert Analysis

“The IDF continues to carry out precision raids and operations in northern and central Gaza in order to eliminate remaining Hamas terror threats. Hamas has attempted to return to northern Gaza and revive its terrorist networks and terrorist infrastructure. The IDF raids into areas such as Beit Hanoun are essential to keeping Hamas and other terror groups defeated and unable to pose a new threat to Israel.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“While the apprehension of terrorists hiding in a hospital may not appear to be a significant military victory, there is a possibility that Israeli intelligence can glean valuable information from those captured. This information can then be instrumental in conducting extensive and more impactful operations, such as locating high-ranking members of Hamas or rescuing hostages held by terrorist groups.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Senior Hamas Intelligence Officer Targeted

The IDF eliminated a senior Hamas intelligence officer in an airstrike, the IDF said on April 18. “The terrorist killed, Yussef Rafik Ahmed Shabat, served as a security officer in the military intelligence wing of Hamas’s Beit Hanoun Battalion. Shabat was responsible for investigations in Hamas’s Beit Hanoun Internal Security Department,” The Jerusalem Post reported. The strike on Shabat capped several days of operations in northern and central Gaza. An Israeli commando was wounded in the clashes in Beit Hanoun, The Times of Israel reported on April 17.

The IDF also said it eliminated 10 terrorists in another operation and struck a terrorist rocket launcher in the Rimal neighborhood. The clashes in central and northern Gaza come amid continued Israeli discussion about when the Jewish state may launch an offensive into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which Hamas still controls.

Hamas Obstructs Hostage Negotiations,” FDD Flash Brief

Six Months Into War, Israel Withdraws Division From Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief

IDF Raid on Gaza Hospital Captures Largest Number of Terrorists Since War Began,” FDD Flash Brief


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