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Day 149: ‘We will not end this war without eliminating Hamas,’ DM Gallant vows

100 terrorists killed in northern Gaza, IDF launches new raids in Khan Younis

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in northern Gaza Strip, Feb. 29, 2024 (Photo: Ariel Hermoni/MoD)

“We will not end this war without eliminating Hamas,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant reiterated as he visited soldiers of the IDF’s 98th Division at the southern Gaza border on Sunday.

“There is no one to help the terrorists, it’s just a matter of deciding what we take care of first, and what comes second... There will be no Hamas as a ruling organization, however long it’ll take,” Gallant said.

The 98th Division troops began a new divisional operation in the west of Khan Younis on Saturday evening, advancing into areas it had not yet operated in on a broad scale, such as the Qatar-funded “Hamad City” neighborhood.

The IDF stated that last night’s massive aerial bombardment was part of the preparations for the surprise offensive, adding that the Air Force, with the help of artillery forces, attacked about 50 terrorist targets in 6 minutes.

The new operation in Khan Younis aims to “deepen the operational achievement, while destroying terrorist infrastructure and eliminating terrorists in the terrorist organization Hamas operating from civilian facilities in the heart of the built-up area,” according to an IDF statement.

The IDF troops raided terrorist targets, eliminated terrorists, and continued to operate in the area “with intensity.”

On Sunday, Israel Defense Forces announced the death of an Israeli soldier killed in battles in southern Gaza, bringing the IDF death toll in the ground operations to 246. The fallen soldier was identified as Sgt. Maj. (res.) Dennis Yekimov (33) from Beersheva, who served with Bislamach Brigade’s 17th Battalion.

In the northern Gaza Strip, the IDF wrapped up two large operations in Gaza City and Zeitoun after two weeks of fighting by the 162nd Division.

Soldiers of the 401st Brigade’s battlegroup carried out intelligence-directed raids on Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets in Zeitoun, eliminating over 100 terrorists, and destroying dozens of terrorist infrastructure, including weapons factories and warehouses.

They were assisted by unique drones that scanned targets and assisted in quick circuit closures, leading to the capture of dozens of Hamas terrorists who were later interrogated and provided valuable information.

Over the last two weeks, Israeli forces located and destroyed hundreds of rocket launch pits and launchers.

They also destroyed military infrastructure belonging to a senior Hamas official, the commander of the Gaza City Brigade, Izz al-Din Haddad.

“We of the 401st Brigade battlegroup, including the battalions 52, 932, 424, and 601, along with other special units, are here in the Zeitoun sector,” said Brigade Commander Col. Beni Aharon.

“Our mission is to destroy the enemy’s infrastructures, including underground, weapons, and production sites, and during this operation, we killed dozens of terrorists and destroyed dozens of infrastructures as well.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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