Photo by IDF Spokesperson on 22 November, 2023

Israeli Forces Continue Gaza Operations Overnight

Public By Pesach Benson • 22 November, 2023

Jerusalem, 22 November, 2023 (TPS) -- As the Israeli government discussed and approved a temporary ceasefire and partial prisoner exchange, soldiers continued operating in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces said on Wednesday morning.

During the past day, soldiers eliminated a number of terrorists and directed air strikes on terror infrastructure.

Combat forces carried out targeted foot raids in the Sheikh Zayed neighborhood in the northwest of Jabaliya. During the raids, Hamas observers in the area were identified and destroyed.

In Beit Hanoun, soldiers killed several members of a Hamas terror squad during a raid on a house. Soldiers found Kalashnikov rifles, axes, ammunition cartridges and other weapons.

In another operation, Israeli forces destroyed tunnel infrastructure from which a terrorist fired on soldiers several days ago. In addition, soldiers killed several members of a terror squad in a house used by Hamas. Soldiers seized weapons and destroyed the house.

Also destroyed was a civilian building from which Hamas snipers fired on Israeli forces, and other Hamas infrastructure along the coastline.

The operations came as the Israeli Cabinet approved in the early morning hours a partial Qatari-brokered prisoner swap and temporary ceasefire. The agreement paves the way for the first Israeli hostages to return home possibly as soon as Thursday.

According to a statement issued by the government following the vote, “at least 50 hostages – women and children – will be released over four days, during which a pause in the fighting will be held. The release of every additional ten hostages will result in one additional day in the pause.”

The statement added, “The Government of Israel, the Israel Defense Forces and the security services will continue the war in order to return home all of the hostages, complete the elimination of Hamas and ensure that there will be no new threat to the State of Israel from Gaza.”

The government’s announcement did not specify the details of Israel’s commitment to release Palestinian prisoners. But according to Israeli media reports before the vote, Israel will release 150 Palestinian women and children from its prisons.

Bringing the hostages home is a “sacred priority and I am committed to it,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his remarks at the beginning of the all-night Cabinet meeting.

“There are stages in a war and there are stages in the return of abductees. The outline that will be presented to you has been improved so that it includes more abductees at a lower cost. We have a difficult decision before us, but it is the right decision,” Netanyahu said.

“All the security forces fully support it. They made it clear in their full professional assessment that the security of our forces will be guaranteed during the days of the ceasefire and that the intelligence effort will be maintained these days,” he added.

Netanyahu also stressed that Israel’s military efforts to topple Hamas would continue as soon as the ceasefire ends. The Iran-backed terror group has ruled Gaza since it violently overthrew the Palestinian Authority in 2007.

“We are at war, and we will continue the war,” Netanyahu said. “We will continue until we achieve all our goals.”

At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas massacres in Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Oct. 7. Another 240 men, women, children, soldiers and foreigners were taken back to Gaza as hostages. Some people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains.