Date: 13/01/2009, 12:22 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

IDF (Zahal) forces – including infantry forces, tanks, combat engineers, artillery forices, and intelligence forces – continue to operate throughout the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and the Israel Navy.

A total of 18 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel today; no injuries were reported.

Four fuel containers and 102 trucks transporting humanitarian aid to Gaza passed through the Kerem Shalom crossing today, bringing the total of humanitarian aid trucks allowed into the Gaza Strip since the beginning of Operation Cast Lead to 1,028.

The IAF attacked over 100 targets since the early morning hours, including:

55 weaponry smuggling tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip

20 rocket launching sites

22 cells of armed gunmen, some of which were targeted in coordination with ground forces

Troops operating in the northern Gaza Strip encountered several gunmen armed with anti-tank missiles and light weapons. The troops directed the IAF in targeting the gunmen, who were hit successfully.

Working with infantry troops in northern Gaza, combat engineering forces carried out the controlled detonation of a tunnel that led to Israeli territory, in the vicinity of the Nahal Oz terminal. The tunnel, uncovered on Monday in a joint IDF (Zahal) and ISA operation, was apparently intended to be used to kidnap Israeli citizens or soldiers.

On Monday night (Jan. 12), an IDF (Zahal) officer was critically wounded and two IDF (Zahal) soldiers were lightly to moderately wounded after an explosive device, used to target forces, was detonated in a booby trapped house. The soldiers were evacuated to hospitals in Israel and their families have been notified. The forces were performing searches in the northern Gaza Strip. Additional weaponry was uncovered while searching the booby-trapped house, which included a machine gun and a flak-jacket.

During Armored Corps, Engineering Corps and Infantry Corps operations on Monday night (Jan.12) in the northern Gaza Strip, two booby-trap rigged tunnels and large amounts of weaponry were uncovered close to the security fence. The forces fired at three terror operatives and uncovered many weapons in the area. In addition, forces uncovered a number of additional smuggling tunnels used by Hamas. Throughout the night, approximately 30 terror operatives were hit.

Hamas continues to use mosques as operational centers in order to fire at IDF (Zahal) soldiers. Fire was opened from the yard of a mosque at IDF (Zahal) forces, who then returned the fire. In a separate incident, the IAF hit terror operatives in the yard of a mosque.

IDF (Zahal) forces spotted a number of terror operatives planting an explosive device in Gaza City and directed aerial forces that struck them. Different pieces of equipment used by Hamas, including four mortar launchers, an explosive device, a vest and a camera were uncovered in the outskirts of Gaza City.

The IAF continued to target terrorist sites on Monday night (Jan. 12) and hit over 60 targets, among them a hotel in which terror operatives were fathering in order to fire at IDF (Zahal) forces, a number of Hamas terror operatives who were rigging a house with explosive devices, fifteen smuggling tunnels in the Philadelphi Corridor, over fifteen rocket launching sites, ten Hamas outposts, fifteen squads of armed operatives, seven weaponry storage facilities, a weaponry manufacturing facility located in the house of a Hamas terror operative, and a rocket launching squad. Dozens of additional targets were struck in order to assist Ground Forces, when preparations for fire at IDF (Zahal) forces were identified from those sites.

Israel Navy boats assisted in enforcing the marine closure on the Gaza Strip and prevented the passage of boats that might arrive in the area.