update deskIsrael at War

Terrorists caught among civilians evacuating Khan Yunis

Israeli forces continued ground and aerial operations across the Gaza Strip • Three additional soldiers slain.

Israeli forces operating in the Gaza Strip, Feb. 24, 2024. Credit: IDF.
Israeli forces operating in the Gaza Strip, Feb. 24, 2024. Credit: IDF.

Israeli troops captured terrorists who tried to hide among civilians being evacuated from combat zones in western Khan Yunis, the military said on Sunday morning.

Also over the past 24 hours in the former Hamas stronghold in southern Gaza, Israeli forces killed several terrorists and confiscated weapons.

After the months-long battle finishes in Khan Yunis, Israeli forces are expected to head to the southernmost city in the Strip, Rafah on the Egyptian border.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described Rafah as the “last Hamas bastion” where the war will be won, containing the terrorist group’s final four battalions.

Netanyahu was set on Sunday to present plans for the IDF attack in Rafah, amid mounting international pressure for an immediate ceasefire.

“I will convene the Cabinet to approve the operational plans for action in Rafah, including the evacuation of the civilian population,” the prime minister tweeted.

“Only a combination of military pressure and firm negotiations will lead to the release of our hostages, the elimination of Hamas and the achievement of all the war’s objectives,” he added.

Meanwhile, several terrorists were killed in the central Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours and in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City in the north, where a nearly weeklong ground and aerial operation to clear out terrorists from the district has been taking place ahead of a pilot program intended to empower local leaders to replace the Hamas terrorist group in governing Gaza.

Additionally, Israeli forces located weapons and destroyed rocket-launching zones in the area. Furthermore, the Israeli Air Force destroyed several rocket launch posts in strikes throughout the Gaza Strip aimed at Hamas’s aerial unit.

The IDF named three soldiers killed in action over the past 24 hours, bringing the military’s death toll to 240 since the start of the Gaza ground invasion on Oct. 27 and to 579 on all fronts since the start of the war on Oct. 7.

Maj. Eyal Shuminov, 24, from Karmiel, was killed in the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday, and Staff Sgt. Nerya Belete, 21, from Shavei Shomron, fell in battle in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday. Shuminov’s death was announced on Saturday, while Belete’s death was stated on Sunday morning.

Later on Sunday, the IDF announced that Sgt. Ido Eli Zarihan, 20, from Jerusalem, fell in battle in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday.

Kidnapped soldier confirmed murdered

The IDF on Sunday afternoon confirmed that Sgt. Oz Daniel, a 19-year-old from Kfar Saba who was kidnapped to Gaza during the Hamas-led invasion of Oct. 7, was murdered on that day and his body stolen.

His funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday at the Kfar Saba Military Cemetery.

 “I am forced to announce with great and heavy sorrow that a few minutes ago I left the home of the Daniel family where the news of the murder of Oz was given to them by the IDF authorities,” the mayor of Kfar Saba said in a statement.

He continued, “One hundred forty-one days have passed since the Black Saturday of October 7 and we all wished we would have good news which unfortunately did not come. Oz was an amazing kid, always with the guitar and the captivating smile. On behalf of the residents of Kfar Saba, I wish to express our condolences.”

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