IAF hits 35 targets overnight; ground forces kill several Hamas operatives, take prisoners

IDF forces discover more tunnels bringing total up to 31, but only 9 have been destroyed; spokesman: more time needed to achieve objectives.

Nahal brigade in Gaza (photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN'S OFFICE)
Nahal brigade in Gaza
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN'S OFFICE)
As Operation Protective Edge entered its 17th day on Thursday, the IDF saw significant gains but stated that more time is needed to achieve its mission objectives in Gaza.
Overnight operations saw the IDF take at least 150 terror suspects prisoner after they surrendered to Israeli forces in the neighborhoods of Khan Younis and Rafah in the Gaza Strip.
The prisoners will be transferred to the Shin Bet for questioning regarding the movements and operations of Hamas in Gaza, said IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Moti Almoz. Army Radio reported that some of the prisoners have already been released after questioning.
Renewing operations after a lull that allowed for the Red Cross to carry out humanitarian activities, the IAF destroyed 35 targets overnight while ground forces discovered several more tunnels.
The discoveries bring the number of tunnels intended for terrorist activity that the IDF has uncovered to 31. As the tunnels are dangerous and difficult to destroy, IDF forces have only destroyed nine of the tunnels thus far. The IDF stated that more time will be needed to uncover and destroy the terror tunnels in Gaza, which the army has stated is its primary goal in its Gaza operations.
Several firefights ensued between Hamas terrorists and IDF forces overnight. According to Army Radio,  ground forces called in an airstrike after terrorists attempted to escape from a tunnel shaft. The IDF reported a direct hit on the enemy. In a separate incident, paratroopers engaged two terrorists, killing both.
No fatalities were reported by the IDF in last night's operations in the Gaza Strip.