In the evening, the information was authorized for publication that the combined arms tactical groups (CTGs) of the “Nahal” and " Commando" brigades have taken operational control of the so-called “al-Shatti refugee camp” — heavily fortified neighborhood in the northwestern part of Gaza City, which served as one of the most important Hamas strongholds in the Strip and was considered to be the backbone of the defense line north from the main Hamas headquarters, located in the Shifa hospital complex.
The forces of the 162nd Division, one one of the three armored divisions currently operating in the sector, have managed to inflict significant damage to Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure and operational capabilities.
So far, the forces of the 162nd Division have already discovered more than 160 tunnel shafts, destroyed approximately 2,800 terrorist sites and eliminated about 1,000 ordinary operatives and commanders of the Hamas terrorist group.
Forces of the 162nd Division conducted raids against a number of Hamas strategic sites. Among them: the Division 17 fortified base, the “security district” compound, one of Hamas’ operational headquarters located on the territory of the Rantisi hospital, which was also used to imprison Israeli hostages, and the “Badr” base.
One of the most difficult areas in which the division had to operate was the “al-Shatti refugee camp”. Al-Shatti was one of the main ground bases of the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip. Inside this district there were many enemy infrastructure facilities, and a significant number of Hamas combat units stationed there, including the “Shatti Battalion”, which took a leading part in the horrific massacre committed by the terrorists with the involvement of civilians of the Gaza Strip on the holiday of Simhat Torah.
The 401st Armored Brigade’s combined arms tactical group entered the Gaza Strip from the north and led the other units deep into the al-Shatti neighborhood.
Together with the Combined Arms Tactical Group of Givati Brigade, it eliminated, from the ground and from the air, numerous enemy installations in Al-Shatti, including buildings that served as Hamas political command and control centers, from which terrorist activity against Israeli civilians was directed and from which resistance to the forces of our army was directed.
The combined arms tactical group of the Nahal Brigade, also part of the 162nd Division, took control of the Al-Shatti district, destroyed numerous terrorist infrastructures, eliminated terrorists and discovered five tunnel mines. During the combat operations, our fighters also managed to capture Hamas terrorists who were transferred deep into Israel for interrogation and investigation.
The Combined Arms Tactical Group of Comando Brigade operated in the northern part of the Al-Shatti neighborhood, uncovering and eliminating Shatti Battalion operatives and destroying Hamas terrorist infrastructure. The forces of the brigade conducted operations deep inside the neighborhood and destroyed a large number of enemy infrastructure units. In particular, a raid was conducted to clear the school territory, where anti-tank positions, large quantities of weapons and military equipment, as well as terrorist infrastructure were found.
A few hours before the ground forces entered the Al-Shatti district, our air force attacked enemy targets located there. At the same time, the 215th Artillery Brigade, which includes artillery and missile divisions, carried out artillery preparation of the area for further advancement of our forces.
“We have created the right conditions to eliminate Hamas’s military and political capabilities in Gaza City,” said Lt. Col. Yitzhak Cohen, commander of the 162nd Division. “Since the beginning of combat operations, the IDF and including the 162nd Division have been destroying Hamas’s power centers and its capabilities that were created and developed in previous years. Division forces have destroyed more than 1,000 terrorists since the beginning of ground maneuvers and have reduced by approximately 80 percent the rocket fire into Israel from the northern Gaza Strip.”
Based on reports from our forces fighting in the al-Shatti neighborhood, as it has been mentioned, one of the most important strongholds of the Hamas terrorist group, approximately half of the homes in the neighborhood were covered with landmines or served as terrorist and militant infrastructure.
After crushing, with G-d’s help, the resistance of Hamas terrorists in the district, the IDF is conducting “clearance” — that is, operations to thoroughly investigate the area, locate terrorists, weapons and other military equipment, and destroy all remaining military capabilities, including tunnels, for which the IDF is using advanced methods, tools and means of neutralization. So far, according to army officials, the IDF has not required sending soldiers into the tunnels to investigate and destroy them.