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Day 60 – Israeli forces advance on Hamas stronghold in Jabalya, heavy bombardment in Khan Younis

IDF preparing the next phase of operations in southern Gaza

IDF ground operations in Gaza (Photo: IDF)

On the 60th day of Operation Iron Swords, the war against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip, Israel Defense Forces once again advanced upon Hamas strongholds in northern Gaza, while continuing its heavy aerial bombardment of the south, especially the town Khan Younis.

In the northern Gaza Strip, the Israeli army has been concentrating on the last strongholds of Hamas in Shuja’iyya and Jabalya, while heavy airstrikes are preparing the ground for the Israeli army to move in the south.

Israeli officials have confirmed that the next phase of the ground operation in the southern part of the Gaza Strip has begun, without announcing a major ground incursion there yet.

Palestinians have reported spotting Israeli armored vehicles on the northern outskirts of Khan Younis over the last few days.

The Israeli army has been dropping leaflets, calling on the residents of northern neighborhoods of Khan Younis to evacuate and suggesting that a ground incursion in the area is imminent.

According to the open-source intelligence blog War Mapper, the IDF has taken up forward positions north of Khan Younis.

Meanwhile, in the northern part of Gaza, units of the 162nd Division have been advancing deeper into the town of Jabalya after completing its encirclement and have been breaking down Hamas infrastructure with the help of Israeli Air Force and Navy forces, the IDF stated on Tuesday morning.

The building of the General Security Headquarters of the terrorist organization Hamas in Jabalya was raided in a joint operation of Israel's Shin Bet security agency and commando soldiers of the 551st Reserve Brigade, as well as the Navy’s special forces, Shayetet 13.

During the raid, the soldiers discovered weapons, maps, and observation and control systems in the command center.

In another joint operation, the Air Force and the Paratrooper Brigade attacked a building belonging to the Hamas’ elite Nukhba force and eliminated several terrorists. In addition, they located and destroyed rockets in the yard outside of a home.

Hamas rockets discovered by Israeli soldiers (Photo: IDF)

During the last 24 hours, soldiers of the 162nd Division struck terrorist infrastructures, located weapons and launchers in civilian buildings, and directed air forces to attack terrorists from the air.

Navy forces assisted the ground units by attacking dozens of operational targets from the sea, among them buildings from which the terrorists could be seen shooting and firing mortar bombs.

In another instance of close cooperation between the Israeli armed forces, fighters of the 7th Armored Brigade on Monday spotted three Hamas terrorists near its fighters. They immediately directed a drone toward the terrorists and eliminated them. In addition, the fighters eliminated two terrorists who shot at them from a tunnel shaft, before blowing up the shaft.

IDF ground operations in Gaza (Photo: IDF)

The death toll of IDF soldiers during ground operations inside the Gaza Strip now stands at 78, following the IDF's announcement that three more soldiers were killed on Tuesday.

They were identified as:

-       Sgt. Yakir Yedidya Schenkolewski (21), from Migdal Oz, soldier in the 188th Armored Brigade’s 53rd Battalion.

-       Staff Sgt. Tuval Yaakov Tsanani (20), from Kiryat Gat, soldier in the 188th Armored Brigade’s 53rd Battalion.

-       Cpt. Eitan Fisch (23), from Peduel, officer in the 188th Armored Brigade’s 53rd Battalion.

Four other soldiers were seriously injured during the fighting in the Gaza Strip.

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

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