update deskIsrael at War

Fierce combat continues in Hamas stronghold Khan Yunis

IDF troops also destroyed a terror tunnel in the northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli troops conducting ground operations in the Gaza Strip, Jan. 27, 2024. Credit: IDF.
Israeli troops conducting ground operations in the Gaza Strip, Jan. 27, 2024. Credit: IDF.

After a week of urban warfare, the Israel Defense Forces continues to engage in “intensive battles” in the Hamas stronghold of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, the army said on Sunday morning.

As part of the advance, forces from the IDF’s 98th Paratroopers Division and commando units are fighting terrorists in the city.

Commandoes from the Egoz Unit identified an enemy squad armed with rocket-propelled grenades and killed the terrorists. Fighters of the Maglan commando unit killed terrorists and seized weapons in the area.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Air Force, in cooperation with the 7th Armored Brigade, eliminated two terrorists in the city using a fighter plane.

Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza and one of the masterminds of the Oct. 7 massacre of some 1,200 persons in Israel’s northwestern Negev region, is believed to be hiding in Khan Yunis, as is Mohammed Deif, the head of Hamas’s Al-Qassam Brigades “military wing.”

Many of the 136 hostages remaining in Gaza are believed to be held in the vast tunnel network underneath Khan Yunis and the surrounding areas. That number includes 28 Israelis who are now believed to be dead, among them four corpses the terrorist group was holding before the Oct. 7 invasion.

Since Jan. 21, the army has been mounting a massive assault in Khan Yunis, killing scores of terrorist operatives, including company commanders. The battle force includes parts of the IDF’s Givati Infantry Brigade, 7th Armored Brigade, paratroopers and commandoes.

On Jan. 23, Israeli ground forces completed the encirclement of Khan Yunis, killing dozens of terrorists in the process.

Hundreds of Palestinians evacuating from Khan Yunis chanted, “Down with Hamas” on Saturday as cracks in the terrorist group’s control of the Gaza Strip continue to grow.

The video was posted on social media by the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), a unit within the Israeli Defense Ministry that coordinates civilian issues between the Israeli government and military, international organizations and the Palestinian Authority.

“Exclusive footage: Myriads of Gazans evacuate to a secure humanitarian area, chanting ‘Down with Hamas.’ The video was captured in the new passage in western Khan Younis, enabling Gaza residents to access the Al-Muwasi humanitarian area,” tweeted COGAT.

(Before Israel’s 2005 disengagement from Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip, Al-Muwasi, also spelled Al-Mawasi, was a Bedouin enclave within the bloc of Israeli communities.)

In the north of the Gaza Strip, the IDF updated on Sunday morning that the fighters of the 5th Reserve Infantry Brigade located and destroyed a tunnel route used by the terrorists in the area and killed terrorists and seized weapons.

In the central Gaza Strip, the Nahal Infantry Brigade directed a manned aircraft that killed a nearby terrorist.

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