Hamas has tried to kidnap Israeli soldiers in Gaza, Colonel Uri Gordin said Tuesday.
“Hamas is fighting as hard as it can, they are using every means at their disposal,” he stated.
Gordin, commander of the Nahal Brigade, spoke to journalists outside Gaza. He reported that troops have managed to locate the majority of terror tunnels in the area, and are working to destroy them.
On Monday night, Nahal Brigade soldiers entered a village deep in Gaza after obtaining information about a terror tunnel in the area. The soldiers found an entrance to an underground tunnel. In addition, they found weapons and killed eight terrorists in a gun battle.
Hamas has accused Israel of killing civilians in fighting in Gaza. However, Gordin said that in fact, civilians had evacuated the area due to IDF warnings, despite Hamas urging them to stay.
“Thankfully, we did not hurt the civilian population. Hamas tried to prevent civilians from leaving the combat zone, because it understands that they are its shield. Fortunately, the civilians understood the truth and left,” he said.
He praised the Nahal Brigade’s success so far. “The brigade has hit many terrorists and much of [Hamas’] infrastructure. The Nahal soldiers are fighting courageously,” he declared.
“The brigade has also had casualties, and I am sorry for each one of them,” he continued. Despite the losses, however, “we are highly motivated to restore quiet for residents of southern Israel,” he said.
Pictures from Monday night's operation: