The Israel Defense Forces says its 162nd Division — which entered Gaza from the north — has completed the capture of the al-Shati camp, and will soon link up with the 36th Division which entered the Strip from the east, reaching the coast.
The IDF says al-Shati was a main Hamas stronghold. “Inside the camp, there is a lot of enemy infrastructure and many forces of Hamas were concentrated there, including the al-Shati Battalion, which took a central part in the October 7 [attacks],” it says.
The 162nd Division had pushed south from northern Gaza when the ground operation began two and a half weeks ago, heading into Gaza City, and facing resistance in the al-Shati camp in the last few days.
There were at least four clashes with Hamas operatives in al-Shati in the last few hours. According to the military, nearly every other home in the camp was booby-trapped.
Around 150,000 to 200,000 Palestinians are estimated to have fled the camp as Israeli troops entered. The troops of the division battled around 200 Hamas operatives in al-Shati.
The military believes it has full control of al-Shati, though there could still be incidents. It says Hamas’s command and control systems in the area were completely dismantled during the raids.
IDF says its 162nd Division — which entered Gaza from the north — has completed the capture of the al-Shati camp, and will soon link up with the 36th Division which entered the Strip from the east, reaching the coast.
The IDF says al-Shati was a main Hamas stronghold. “Inside… pic.twitter.com/9IEiBSINqr
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The 162nd Division is now working to methodically clear the al-Shati area of any Hamas infrastructure, including tunnels and caches of weapons.
The IDF also details the division’s other operations in northern Gaza, saying it dealt “significant blows” to Hamas’s infrastructure and operational capabilities.
According to the IDF, the division has found and destroyed more than 160 tunnel shafts, struck some 2,800 Hamas sites, and killed around 1,000 terror operatives and senior commanders.
The division raided and captured what the IDF says are Hamas’s “strategic and essential assets” in northern Gaza, including the Outpost 17 stronghold, the so-called “military quarter” of Gaza City, Rantisi Hospital — which the IDF suspects was used by Hamas to hold Israeli hostages — and the Bader outpost.
It says the division’s 401st Armored Brigade and Givati Infantry Brigade led the maneuver into al-Shati, destroying dozens of Hamas sites with tank shelling and calling in airstrikes.
The division’s Nahal Infantry Brigade, meanwhile, captured Hamas’s main outpost in al-Shati, and destroyed its infrastructure, killing terror operatives in the process, and detaining others for questioning by the Shin Bet in Israel, the IDF says.
The division’s Commando Brigade operated in the northern part of al-Shati to locate terror operatives. It also operated deeper in the camp, destroying Hamas infrastructure and raiding buildings used by the terror group, including a school where the IDF says troops found an anti-tank missile launch position and a weapons cache.
The commander of the 162nd Division, Brig. Gen. Itzik Cohen, hails the operations, saying the military is “dismantling Hamas’s centers of mass and capabilities that the organization has built up over the years.”
“The forces of the division killed over 1,000 terrorists from the beginning of the ground maneuver and reduced by about 80 percent the amount of rocket fire towards Israel from the north of the Gaza Strip,” Cohen adds.