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Israel destroys underground tunnels in Gaza, kills Hamas engineer

Israel strikes multiple Hamas command centers and underground infrastructure in Gaza, while also eliminating a senior Hamas engineer.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) says it has killed a senior engineer from the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas who was developing weapons, including drones.

IDF said it attacked numerous Hamas command centres and underground infrastructure and killed Mahmoud Sabih, a senior Hamas engineer. 

Mahmoud Sabih led a unit that developed weapons for Hamas, and drones, and “exchanged knowledge with other terror groups throughout the Middle East.”

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant spoke as he paid a visit to an area where the IDF was gathered near the Gaza border and “closely monitored the readiness of the forces for the expansion of the campaign,” his office said.

Tens of thousands of military personnel are gathered near the border with the Gaza Strip and are waiting for an Israeli ground offensive on the Gaza Strip.

At the same time, missiles launched from the Gaza Strip on the southern coastal city of Ashkelon caused damage, local authorities said. 

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One missile hit a house directly, and another hit several cars. There were no casualties.

Hamas also shelled Sderot, Ashdod, and several nearby towns. 

The municipality of Sderot said a missile that fell in the southern city damaged a street and a bus stop, but no one was injured.

The missile attack occurred after Hamas released two hostages captured during the 7 October invasion and mass killings in Israeli communities. 

American citizens Judith and Natalie Raanan returned to Israel and were supposed to be reunited with their relatives at a military base.

Meanwhile, US and European governments have asked Israel to postpone the start of a ground operation in the Gaza Strip and give time for secret negotiations mediated by Qatar to release hostages held by Hamas.

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