Air strikes on the Gaza Strip killed a top Hamas weapons maker and several fighters, the Israeli military said on Wednesday.
Gaza City, the Hamas group’s main stronghold in the territory, is encircled by Israeli forces. The military said troops have advanced to the heart of the densely-populated city while Hamas says its fighters have inflicted heavy losses.
The Israeli military statement said two separate strikes eliminated a leading Hamas armorer, Mahsein Abu Zina, and fighters engaged in anti-tank or ground-to-ground rocket fire, reported Reuters.
Palestinian media also reported clashes between militants and Israeli forces near al-Shati (Beach) refugee camp in Gaza City.
Reuters was unable to verify the battlefield claims of either side.
Israel has pounded Gaza from the air and used ground troops to divide the narrow coastal strip in two, following the Hamas raid on southern Israel on Oct. 7, when gunmen killed 1,400 people and took some 240 hostages.
The Israeli bombardment has killed more than 10,000 Palestinians, around 40% of them children, over the past month, according to counts by health officials in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
Israel says 32 of its soldiers have been killed.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Israel had “one target – Hamas terrorists in Gaza, their infrastructure, their commanders, bunkers, communications rooms”.