April 11, 2024 | FDD's Long War Journal

IDF’s new phase of operations in Gaza to include pinpoint raids, increased aid

April 11, 2024 | FDD's Long War Journal

IDF’s new phase of operations in Gaza to include pinpoint raids, increased aid

A week and a half after Israeli forces withdrew from southern Gaza’s Khan Younis and it appeared the IDF was shifting gears to a new phase of operations, the IDF sent forces into areas of central Gaza and a neighborhood near Gaza City. The new tactic builds upon the raids Israel conducted into Shati, Zaytun and Shifa in March, which netted terrorist detainees and led to the elimination of Hamas members who had returned to northern Gaza. This is paired with an increased focus by Israel on facilitating humanitarian aid for Gaza.

On April 10 and 11, the IDF conducted a “targeted operation” in Nuseirat, one of the areas known as the “central camps” because it is an urban area that surrounds a former refugee camp. The area is next to Bureij and Maghazi, two other areas controlled by Hamas that are part of the central camps. The IDF used the 162nd division, which is the only division left in Gaza. The raid included the 401st Armored Brigade and also Nahal infantry who are securing the Netzarim corridor, a section of land running east-west across Gaza. Nuseirat borders the Netzarim corridor. A number of Hamas members from Nuseirat participated in the October 7 attack on Israel. The IDF and artillery carried out strikes on Hamas cells in the area.

“During the operational activity overnight, IDF troops identified an armed terrorist who exited a terror tunnel shaft adjacent to IDF troops and entered a military structure. An IDF fighter jet struck the terrorist as he was approaching the troops. Furthermore, IDF troops observed and located a number of launchers in the area,” the IDF said. The Navy also assisted in the operation.

In addition to operating south of the Netzarim corridor, the IDF also conducted another raid into Shujaiya, which is north of the corridor. “The troops eliminated terrorists and struck terrorist infrastructure. In one of the activities, the troops conducted a targeted raid on a Hamas post used for training exercises. Following the raid, an IAF aircraft struck and destroyed the post,” the IDF said.

Later in the day, the IDF also carried out an airstrike on Nasser Yakob Jabber Nasser. The Israeli army said that “as a part of his activities in Hamas’ military wing, he was responsible for funding a significant part of Hamas’ military activities in Rafah. Last December, he transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hamas for its military activities.” The airstrike on Nasser followed a strike on Shati in northern Gaza on April 10 that killed three of the adult sons of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. “The three operatives that were struck are Amir Haniyeh, a cell commander in the Hamas military wing, Mohammad Haniyeh, a military operative in the Hamas terrorist organization, and Hazem Haniyeh, also a military operative in the Hamas terror organization,” the IDF said. Reports said several children were killed in the incident, but the IDF did not elaborate on whether civilians were also killed in the strike. 

Along with the raids in Gaza, Israel is constructing a new “northern crossing” into Gaza. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant mentioned this crossing in a statement on April 10 in relation to increasing aid into Gaza. The crossing is apparently not the Erez crossing, which existed before October 6 but was damaged during the Hamas attack. The IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Unit (COGAT) is involved with this new crossing. The goal is to increase the number of aid trucks entering different parts of Gaza. Northern Gaza has been largely cut off from aid since the war began, and this has led to several stampedes and the subsequent deaths of civilians who have waylaid trucks trying to get aid. On April 10, the IDF said that 298 trucks entered Gaza and there was an airdrop with 353 packages. “Furthermore, yesterday (Wednesday), the Coordination and Liaison Administration for the Gaza Strip, together with the IDF Southern Command, coordinated the entry of 28 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to the northern Gaza Strip,” the IDF noted. In a separate post, COGAT said they had coordinated the repair of a water line in Bani Suheila, an area near Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

The overall sense today is that the IDF is settling into a new routine in Gaza, one with a heavier focus on the humanitarian angle in addition to targeted raids. Israeli political leadership continues to debate an operation in Rafah, the southern city in Gaza on the Egyptian border. If the operation does proceed, there is much work to be done in preparation for such an operation.

Reporting from Israel, Seth J. Frantzman is an adjunct fellow at FDD and a contributor to FDD’s Long War Journal. He is the acting news editor and senior Middle East correspondent and analyst at The Jerusalem Post. 


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