Hamas crumbling in northern Gaza, as 200,000 human shields stream south

Nov 12, 2023 4:02 pm | Ticker, Virtual Jerusalem

In northern Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have reported substantial progress against Hamas, with the IDF’s ground, air, and naval forces deepening operations in the al-Shati neighborhood of Gaza City. IDF Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari conveyed that the military’s actions have compelled approximately 200,000 civilians to evacuate the northern Strip, suggesting a waning control of Hamas over the area as they were compelled to loosen their grip on a civilian population that the terror group had explloited as human shields.

Further IDF announcements have confirmed the deaths of five more soldiers, bringing the total number of military casualties to 42 since the commencement of Israel’s ground operation in Gaza. The IDF has also successfully targeted a Hamas commander, Ahmed Siam, who was accused of holding about 1,000 Gazan residents hostage at Rantisi Hospital, hindering their evacuation. This operation was the result of intelligence efforts by the Shin Bet and Military Intelligence Directorate.

In addition to their combat achievements, the IDF is actively engaging in humanitarian efforts. They have agreed to assist in the safe transfer of infants from Shifa Hospital’s pediatric department to a more secure location. This comes in response to a request from the hospital’s staff, slated to be fulfilled soon.

However, the situation surrounding Shifa Hospital has been tense, with Palestinian claims of the hospital being under siege, a charge which the IDF has categorically denied and backed up with recorded conversations between the IDF and senior hospital officials.

Rear Admiral Hagari emphasized the misinformation surrounding the operations, assuring that there is “no siege on Shifa Hospital” and the east side remains open for safe passage. He added that the IDF maintains direct communication with hospital staff and will aid in the evacuation of noncombatants to safer areas.

Hagari also drew attention to the humanitarian crisis, accusing Hamas of holding 239 people, including infants, hostage for over a month, a situation he described as a crime against humanity.