Photo Credit: Yossi Zeliger/TPS
An Israeli tanks on the Israel-Gaza border on Jan. 4, 2024.

[Updated] Eleven soldiers in southern Israel were wounded on Sunday, and three soldiers were killed when terrorists fired a 10-rocket-and-mortar-shell barrage from the Rafah area of southern Gaza at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom.

Several rockets exploded near a military facility, causing the casualties, the Eshkol Regional Council said.


“The injured are not residents of the council and we pray for their recovery,” the council said.

Helicopters evacuated the wounded to hospitals. Many military personnel were on the scene.

The Air Force subsequently attacked terrorist targets in Rafah, in the areas from which the missiles were fired towards Kerem Shalom.

The Kerem Shalom crossing is currently closed to the passage of humanitarian aid trucks, the IDF said.

Kerem Shalom, located at the Israel-Gaza-Egypt triangle area, is the site of the primary crossing between Israel and Gaza where thousands of humanitarian aid trucks have passed through during the war.

The attack comes as the military prepares for an offensive in the last Hamas bastion along the Egyptian border should the terrorist organization reject Jerusalem’s latest truce offer, described by U.S. mediators as the most generous yet from the Israeli side.

Jerusalem says going into Rafah is essential to winning the war, given that four of the final six Hamas battalions—thousands of gunmen—are entrenched there. If the Rafah operation does not move forward, Israel has warned that Hamas will regroup and threaten Israel again. The terrorist group has pledged many repeats of the atrocities committed on Oct. 7.

Hamas commander, Nukhba terrorists killed
An Israeli Air Force strike killed Saleh Jamil Muhammad Amad, a Hamas terrorist commander responsible for combat support within the Bureij Battalion in central Gaza, the IDF said on Sunday.

He was slain alongside several other operatives who were with him inside Hamas terror infrastructure.

In another airstrike, three Hamas terrorists from the elite Nukhba unit, some of whom participated in the Oct. 7 massacre, were killed.

Additionally, IDF artillery fired towards a Hamas launch area were ready-to-use rocket launchers aimed at southern Israel were present.

Over the past 24 hours, IAF fighter jets and aircraft struck additional Hamas terrorist targets throughout the Gaza Strip, including weapons storage facilities, a structure with a sniper threatening troops and two terrorists operating close to a launch post.

Furthermore, IAF aircraft struck and killed three Hamas terrorists in the area of Jabaliya in northern Gaza, including a deputy company commander, a tunnel operative and a drone operator.

PIJ operative who commanded forces on Oct. 7 killed
The IDF announced on Saturday night that earlier in the day, IAF fighter jets killed senior Islamic Jihad operative Aiman Zaarab in a strike in southern Gaza.

“As part of his role, Zaarab was responsible for the Islamic Jihad Nukhba forces’s attack on Kibbutz Sufa and the Sufa military post during the Oct. 7 massacre,” the IDF said. “Additionally, over the past few days, Zaarab led the Islamic Jihads’ preparation for combat in the southern Gaza Strip.”

Two additional PIJ operatives were killed alongside Zaarab; they were staying in his operational apartment.


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