All Israel

Day 255: IDF says it has control of over 60% of Rafah, 2 of final 4 Hamas battalions defeated

Defeat of Hamas’ Rafah Brigade expected ‘within weeks’

Israeli forces in Rafah, southern Gaza (Photo: IDF)

Israel Defense Forces announced Monday evening that half of Hamas’ Rafah Brigade has been defeated, with 550 Hamas fighters confirmed killed, and said its forces are working to complete the mission of destroying Hamas. 

The 162nd Division of the IDF has been fighting in Rafah since early May, when the IDF captured the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. Shortly afterward, the troops began operating in the Brazil neighborhood in the northern part of Rafah. 

The IDF revealed on Monday that troops carried out a tactical deception exercise, intended to convince Hamas that it planned to attack the southern part of Rafah first, while it instead began to clear northern areas. 

The rapid action in seizing the Philadelphi Corridor and taking operational control over northern neighborhoods prevented Hamas from placing IEDs and booby-traps, which the forces are encountering in the southern neighborhoods.  

The IDF said Division 162 has effectively defeated two out of Hamas’ remaining four battalions, Yabna and East Rafah, and has gained operational control of 60-70% of Rafah's territory. 

The IDF now controls the neighborhoods of Brazil, Shabura, NPK, the Philadelphi Corridor all the way to the sea, and the area between Philadelphi and Tel al-Sultan. IDF soldiers continue to fight the two remaining battalions, with exchanges already taking place in Tel al-Sultan and parts of Shabura. 

The 162nd Division confirmed the deaths of over 550 Hamas fighters. While the IDF estimates that many more were killed, this number refers to bodies of Hamas fighters counted by ground forces from the 162nd Division. 

According to the IDF’s assessment, it will take a few more weeks to defeat the Rafah Brigade. 

The Israeli military also said the tunnel network discovered in Rafah, especially near the Philadelphi Corridor, is the "most complex" it has seen in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war, with over 200 tunnels located. 

According to the IDF, 25 of the tunnels reach the border of Egypt in the Philadelphi Corridor, with some likely crossing into Egypt for smuggling use. 

The IDF entered an underground route located in the so-called NPK neighborhood, which belonged to the commander of the Rafah Brigade in Hamas, resulting in an underground battle. Dozens of terrorists were reportedly killed and many explosives were discovered. The IDF stated there were no soldier casualties during the underground fighting. 

The IDF defined the NPK neighborhood as the main "Hamas stronghold" in Rafah. During operations there, troops discovered many IEDs, lathes for making weapons, and large combat complexes. A senior officer said, “Captured houses became booby-trapped neighborhoods. There were houses with passageways in the walls and closets, cameras in almost every alley and in every room – to help terrorists who wanted to harm our forces.” 

The IDF has reportedly managed to neutralize most of the Rafah Brigade assets. The tunnel system, the command systems, the armaments, and most of the combat infrastructure were destroyed. Rafah Brigade headquarters and intelligence systems are now controlled by the IDF.

According to the news site Israel Hayom, the IDF found artifacts and intelligence related to Israeli hostages in Rafah. The IDF estimates that a significant number of Hamas forces managed to leave Rafah with the civilians fleeing to al-Mawasi humanitarian zone. It did not rule out the possibility that they took Israeli captives with them. 

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

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories