1 of 6 | People carry away the body of a victim recovered amid the rubble of a building in the aftermath of an overnight Israeli bombing in Rafah in southern Gaza on Sunday. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 4 (UPI) -- In an expanded operation, the Israel Defense Forces said Monday it struck about 200 terrorist targets, including Hamas infrastructure inside a school and two tunnel shafts.
The Israeli military said fighter jets hit Hamas vehicles containing missiles, mortar shells and weapons in hopes of dwarfing a counterattack. The navy struck a Hamas observation post at the Gaza harbor.
The IDF also confirmed the death of three soldiers during Sunday fighting in the Gaza Strip. It identified them as Sgt. Maj. Neriya Shaer, 36; Sgt. First Class Ben Zussman, 22; and Sgt. Binyamin Yehoshua Needham, 19.
Shaer, a reservist, was killed in the central Gaza Strip, while Zussman, also a reservist, and Needham were killed in the enclave's north.
The IDF said the deaths brought the death toll of its military to 401 since the start of the war with Hamas, 75 coming from the ground offensive inside the Gaza Strip.
Israel over the weekend ordered additional evacuations Gaza, which it has continued to bombard days after the collapse of a weeklong stand down.
IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari announced the expanded ground operations late Sunday in a press conference in which few specifics were given.
The announcement comes on the heels of the military expanding evacuations for parts of southern Gaza near the city of Khan Younis, seemingly preparing the region for a potential ground invasion.
Within the first week of the war that began Oct. 7, the Israeli military ordered citizens of northern Gaza to evacuate south ahead of ground operations in and around northern Gaza City.
In Arabic-language posts on social media, Israel published maps of evacuation zones ahead of what officials called "the next stage of the war."
The announcement also came as Israel continued to bomb Gaza days after the warring sides failed to extend the weeklong military truce that allowed for the exchange of hostages held by each side and the escape of civilians from targeted areas of Gaza.
The truce ended Friday.
Amid the attacks on Sunday, Israel killed a Hamas commander, identified as Haitham Hawajri, Hagari said in a post on social media that included aerial footage of the airstrike.
Hagari said Hawajri commanded Hamas fighters who raided Israel during the Oct. 7 surprise attack that killed some 1,200 Israelis and initiated the war.
In response to Hamas' initial attack, Israel has launched repeated airstrikes on Gaza and has conducted a ground invasion of the enclave's northern half.
The Hamas-controlled Palestinian health ministry said Sunday that more than 15,500 Palestinians have been killed in the war with 70% of the victims being children and women.
The war is estimated to have internally displaced 1.8 million people, which accounts for nearly 80% of Gaza's population, according to statistics from the United Nations Office for Coordinating Humanitarian Affairs.
A Palestinian man carries an injured boy following the resumption of Israeli bombing raids on houses in Rafah, in southern Gaza on December 1, 2023. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo