January 6th, 2009
Summary of Overnight and Morning Activity
Operation Cast Lead continued throughout the night (Jan. 6) in the Gaza Strip and throughout the day (Jan. 7); large numbers of infantry, tank, engineering, artillery and intelligence forces operated throughout the Gaza Strip, with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and the Israel Navy.
Naval forces operated in the central Gaza Strip overnight, near Dir al-Balah. Several gunmen were killed during the operation.
The Paratroopers Brigade were operating in northern Gaza and identified a suicide bomber approaching them in order to detonate himself in an attack targeting the soldiers. The troops fired at the man, causing his suicide belt to detonate. One soldier was lightly wounded in the incident.
A structure in Jabaliya was attacked in a joint IDF and ISA operation. Iman Siam, the head of the Hamas rocket launching program was inside the building at the time. Siam is one of the senior Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip and he founded the organization’s rocket launching program, in addition to being the head of Hamas’s artillery program throughout the Gaza Strip.
The IAF struck approximately 50 targets in Gaza. Among the targets were:
- Approximately 10 Hamas weapons-storage facilities, some of which were located in the homes of senior members of the organization: Mahmad Shatiwi, a Hamas battalion commander; Osama Tabesh, a Hamas company commander; Bassel Abu Wadi, a Hamas company commander; Ashraff Jouda, a senior Hamas commander.
- Three Hamas weapons storage facilities that also served as meeting places for senior members of the Hamas.
- Two weapons production facilities, one of which was located in the home of Iman Jallalah, a Hamas company commander.
- Five Hamas headquarters and two Hamas police buildings.
- Two weapons smuggling tunnels and a booby-trapped house concealing tunnel entrances.
The Navy, Air Force and Artillery Corps continued to support ground forces in the northern Gaza Strip, striking Hamas targets, Hamas gunmen, and terrorists identified in rocket launching areas.
The IDF will continue to operate against the Hamas terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip according to its operational plans in order to reduce the rocket fire on the south of Israel.