Israel Defense Forces troops continue to score operational successes during intense combat in the southern Gaza terror stronghold of Khan Yunis, increasing pressure on Hamas by eliminating many of its terrorist squads, the military said on Wednesday morning.
Over the past 24 hours, IDF commandos carried out numerous raids on terrorist infrastructure in the heart of the city, according to the army. Troops encountered many Hamas operatives during close-quarters combat, among them squads preparing to fire anti-tank missiles.
The terrorists were eliminated using sniper fire, tank shelling and Israeli Air Force strikes, according to the IDF.
Combat teams of the 7th Armored, Paratroopers and Givati brigades likewise expanded their raids on Hamas compounds in the heart of Khan Yunis, locating many weapons and killing large numbers of terrorists.
Meanwhile, in the center of the Gaza Strip, soldiers of the Yiftah Brigade killed a terrorist preparing to launch an attack from inside a building before he was able to open fire at the forces.
In the north, the 215th Artillery Brigade eliminated many terrorists by ordering IAF airstrikes on terrorist squads that had returned to areas from which forces had previously withdrawn, the IDF said.
Last week, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant signaled the impending end to heavy combat in southern and northern Gaza. “The intensive maneuvering phase in the north of the Gaza Strip has ended, and in the south, it will also end soon,” he told reporters on Jan. 15.
Gallant’s announcement came a day after the 36th Division—the IDF’s largest regular-service armored division, which includes the Golani Infantry Brigade—left Gaza for rest and training. The IDF subsequently announced that the undercover counterterror Duvdevan Unit would likewise deploy to its regular location in Judea and Samaria.
However, over the past few days, the army has expanded its operations in Khan Yunis in the south, in addition to “deepening achievements in northern Gaza,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzl Halevi said on Tuesday. The battle inside the city began on Sunday and is expected to last several days.