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Day 230: IDF conducts targeted raids to prevent Hamas from regaining territory in north & central Gaza, expands Rafah op in south

There are now 5 brigades operating in Rafah, record number since January

IDF forces in Gaza (Photo: IDF)

Over the past few days, IDF troops have been conducting targeted raids in Beit Hanoun in northeast Gaza. These operations aim to eliminate terrorists, dismantle terror infrastructure both below and above ground, and prevent Hamas from consolidating forces in the area.

Three IDF soldiers were killed while operating in the area on Wednesday. Two of the soldiers were from the Kfir Brigade’s Netzah Yehuda Battalion, which is currently deployed in northern Gaza, while the third was a soldier in the IDF's elite Yahalom combat engineer unit. 

According to reports, two of the soldiers were killed by sniper fire, which also injured others, while a third was killed by an explosive device planted in a building. Two other soldiers were reportedly wounded in the explosion. 

The IDF continues to uncover tunnels, disable IEDs, and prevent sniper attacks in the area, which is close to the border with Israel. Cooperating with the Israeli Air Force (IAF), the troops struck numerous targets, including an anti-tank launch post, a military compound and sniper posts. 

Israeli troops are attempting to shift to a different strategy in Gaza, focusing on precise, targeted raids based on military and Shin Bet intelligence. The beginning of the ground campaign focused on destroying the Hamas brigades located in the various cities and communities in northern Gaza. The IDF has now shifted to conducting smaller, more precise operations aimed at eliminating remaining infrastructure and thwarting Hamas attempts to re-establish Hamas units in those areas. 

Meanwhile, the operation in Rafah appears to be intensifying, as the IDF announced the deployment of the Nahal Brigade, making it the fifth IDF brigade in the southern town near the Egyptian border.

The United States seems to approve of Israel's revised strategy in Gaza, coupled with the successful evacuation of most civilians from Rafah. Consequently, the IDF is poised to advance into the parts of Rafah it has not yet accessed. Until now, IDF soldiers have largely avoided entering the residential zones of Rafah.

According to the military spokesman, IDF troops are currently operating based on intelligence regarding terror targets in the 'Brazil' and 'Shaboura' neighborhoods while “making every effort to prevent harm to civilians and after the civilian population in the area was evacuated.” 

Over the last 24 hours, troops located a rocket launcher ready to fire at IDF forces. The troops also located and destroyed a number of tunnel shafts and launchers in the area and eliminated terrorists in close-quarters encounters. 

Over the past few days, IDF forces uncovered several tunnel systems including entrance shafts during operations in Rafah. In one operation, soldiers raided an area containing a cemetery in the east of the city, where the fighters located large quantities of weapons and launchers. In addition, the forces also located significant underground living spaces.

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

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