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Day 65: Fighting intensifies in Gaza Strip after US vetoes UN ceasefire resolution

IDF pressing Hamas hard, urges Gazan civilians to evacuate Khan Younis

IDF ground operations in Gaza (Photo: IDF)

After the United States vetoed the UN Security Council resolution for an immediate ceasefire, Israel Defense Forces is continuing to press toward its objectives in the Gaza Strip. 

According to the IDF, over the past day, ground, aerial and naval forces continued to strike Hamas infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, striking over 250 targets. 

During overnight fighting, IDF troops located and destroyed weapons stocks, carried out targeted raids on military sites, destroyed underground terror tunnel shafts, and thwarted armed terrorist cells planning to attack IDF troops. 

On Saturday night, an Israeli Air Force (IAF) fighter jet, directed by ground troops, struck a Hamas military communications site located adjacent to a mosque in the southern Gaza Strip. Following the strike, the troops conducted a targeted raid on the site. 

IDF troops also struck underground tunnel shafts in Khan Younis overnight with the IAF's assistance. 

In addition, soldiers used a drone to identify an armed terrorist cell planning to attack other IDF troops in the area. The soldiers called in a helicopter strike, eliminating the terrorists. 

The IDF continues its operations in the northern Gaza Strip as well, as it seeks to secure the remaining Hamas-controlled neighborhoods east of Gaza City. 

IDF troops conducted a targeted raid on a Hamas military command center near Shaja'iya, and located numerous weapons used by the terrorist organization, including AK-47 rifles, grenades, anti-tank missile launchers, ammunition and additional military equipment. 

During operations in the Jabaliya neighborhood, "Yahalom" combat engineering unit’s special forces received information regarding the presence of terrorists in the area and their intention to fire at Israeli troops. 

The soldiers identified suspicious movements in one of the buildings and engaged the terrorists.

In a firefight, which started outside the building, the troops fought their way inside, identifying two terrorists who fired at them and threw a grenade in their direction. The soldiers eliminated the terrorists after a lengthy exchange of fire. 

On Saturday, the IDF's 551st Division discovered a large teddy bear stuffed with rifles and ammunition inside a school building. 

Meanwhile, in Beit Hanoun, IDF troops came under fire from terrorists who shot at them from a UNRWA school. 

After engaging the terrorists and eliminating them, the soldiers found a tunnel that connected to a nearby mosque. 

Reports in Hebrew media indicated that the IDF hopes to secure the northern Gaza Strip in the coming days, allowing it to focus efforts on Khan Younis, where it will continue to search for Hamas leaders and locate the remaining 138 hostages. 

There have been multiple reports of Hamas fighters in the northern Gaza Strip surrendering to IDF

There is a growing concern that U.S. and international support for Israel's military action to eliminate Hamas will not last much longer, putting significant pressure on Israel to agree to a ceasefire. 

Israeli National Security Council Chief Tzachi Hanegbi was interviewed on N12 news on Saturday, where he denied that the U.S. had set a deadline for completing the fighting. 

"They [the U.S.] understand that they are not in a position to tell the IDF how much time is needed to achieve their goals," he said. "Achieving goals cannot be measured either in weeks or months. The IDF will reach any point it wants in Gaza.” 

The IDF continued to make announcements and inform Palestinian civilians in Khan Younis to evacuate the area as it seeks to destroy Hamas infrastructure there. 

Early on Sunday afternoon, reports in Hebrew media stated that IDF artillery was operating in Khan Younis for the first time, indicating significant progress in securing territory in the Hamas stronghold. 

The IDF reported that, since the beginning of the ground invasion, 97 Israeli soldiers have been killed in fighting, while several other soldiers who were captured on Oct. 7 were killed while being held hostage by Hamas terrorists and its accomplices.

About 559 IDF soldiers have been wounded since the beginning of the ground campaign, according to the IDF, with 127 of them in serious condition, and 211 in moderate condition. The rest are recovering from light injuries. 

The IDF also reported that 100 humanitarian aid trucks have entered Gaza within the last 24 hours. 

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

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