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IDF expands operations in Gaza after five soldiers killed

The Israeli army ordered the evacuation of Jabalia in northern Gaza and parts of Rafah in southern Gaza. Five soldiers were killed in fighting this weekend.

The Israeli military has said that 100,000 to 150,000 Palestinian civilians are expected to be evacuated from Jabalia for a major new operation there, which the Israeli military has announced has begun, although at press time it There were still few details.

IDF evacuates civilians ahead of massive operation

It was the first time since January, when the Israeli military declared its full operational control of northern Gaza, that it actually acknowledged a loss of control so significant that it had to evacuate between a third and a half of all civilians who remained there in order to undertake a new massive operation. operation.

In mid-March, the IDF carried out a major operation against around 1,000 Hamas fighters at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for about a week, but it was a targeted operation that did not require the evacuation of a significant number of civilians.

This latest evacuation in Jabalia goes well beyond the periodic small-scale “cleansing” operations that the IDF predicted it would have to undertake for nine months starting in January to quell a second Hamas insurgency attempt.

Smoke rises as displaced Palestinians take shelter at Al Shifa hospital, amid the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel, in Gaza City, November 8, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/DOAA ROUQA)

According to the IDF, Hamas is restoring its command and control capabilities, and only a larger operation, including the evacuation of large numbers of Palestinian civilians, would be sufficient to prevent its possible return to power in the near future.

Furthermore, the IDF has publicly acknowledged that the government’s months of delay since January in selecting a new entity or hybrid of countries and entities to manage Gaza in place of Hamas have wasted many of its operational achievements. IDF.

Additionally, the military said that if the government does not choose a replacement for Hamas, more of the IDF’s war achievements could be put at risk, and the most likely outcome would be the continuation of Hamas’ attempts to come back.

This is despite Hamas losing 15,000 terrorists killed, a similar number of terrorists injured and a few thousand more arrested.

Although the IDF has not commented on the size of Hamas’s forces, it appears that the organization’s total number of fighters was expected to be closer to 40,000 or more on October 7, not the often cited 30,000.

Furthermore, Hamas recruited thousands of new members during the war.

At this point, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, War Ministers Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, and most of the IDF high command have been pushing for months for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to move forward with the US plans for a reformed Palestinian Authority to take control of Gaza. with the help of Washington, NATO and various Arab allies, such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and others, but Netanyahu is fiercely opposed to the involvement of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza.

In addition to Jabalia, the IDF expanded its evacuation orders in Rafah, affecting approximately 100,000 Palestinian civilians to approximately 300,000 in eastern Rafah.

This is still only a fraction of the million Palestinian civilians there, but it is a significant escalation from the IDF’s initial moves to seize only parts of the Philadelphia corridor with Egypt as well as small portions of eastern Rafah.

Given the opposition from the United States and Egypt, it is unclear how far the IDF operation in Rafah will go.

On Friday, Yediot Ahronot’s Nadav Eyal reported from three sources that half of the 4,000 to 8,000 Hamas fighters in Rafah had left the area to avoid being attacked by the Israeli army.

Three main defense sources denied Eyal’s information The Jerusalem Post, including several sources with no political affiliation.

The news that half of Hamas forces have left Rafah would potentially serve US interests and the views of Gantz and Eisenkot, who want to focus on a hostage deal with Hamas without an actual operation in Rafah.

A spokesperson for the two war cabinet ministers generally denied any leak of the information, although there were indications that at least one of the sources in the Yediot story may have been a member of the war cabinet.

There was no way to the post office to independently determine which narrative about Hamas in Rafah was true, although it was also possible that Israeli intelligence on the terrorist group’s smooth, covert movements through the tunnels was imperfect, and that there was no no clear answer.

Five fallen IDF soldiers

The Israeli army announced that five soldiers had been killed in several separate incidents.

Four 19-year-old soldiers with the rank of sergeant were killed in combat on Friday in the Zeitoun neighborhood near Gaza City in the northern part of the enclave. Their names are Itay Levni, Yosef Dasa, Armias Mekurio and Daniel Levy. All four were soldiers from the 931st Battalion of the IDF’s Nahal Brigade.

Three other soldiers were injured in the same neighborhood, according to Maariv.

Levni was from Ramat Hasharon, Desa from Kiryat Bialik, Mekurio from Beersheba, and Levy from Kiryat Motzkin.

According to the report, around 8:30 a.m. Friday, the 931st Battalion was scanning buildings in the area. An explosive device was likely detonated during the operation, and there were at least two explosions.

Medical forces immediately rushed to treat those injured in the attack as the evacuation and rescue mission took place under fire. The injured were transferred to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.

On Saturday evening, the Israeli army announced the death of 20-year-old Staff Sgt. Ariel Tsym from Modiin. Tsym was a soldier fighting in the Nahal Brigade of the 931st Battalion and was killed in action in the northern Gaza Strip.

In a series of smaller, more traditional “cleansing” operations in Zeitun, northern Gaza, the brigade located weapons, destroyed terrorist infrastructure and eliminated a relatively small number of terrorists.

As part of the operation, Nahal soldiers seized weapons, including Kalashnikovs, combat vests and grenades.

Additionally, soldiers identified a small number of terrorists who posed a threat. An Air Force plane worked in cooperation with the brigade to kill them. The IDF also killed a Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist who participated in the October 7 massacre.

Alongside continued military operations in the Gaza Strip, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) also announced the establishment of an additional field hospital run by the International Medical Corps in Gaza.

The hospital joins seven other field hospitals established in Gaza since the start of the Gaza war.

Strengthening humanitarian aid to Gaza

Established in the Deir al-Balah area of ​​central Gaza, the hospital began operating in recent days and is part of the IDF and COGAT initiative to boost humanitarian assistance to Gaza’s civilian population . The hospital’s location is important because it can provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza residents evacuated from the eastern Rafah area.

As part of humanitarian efforts to ensure the temporary evacuation of civilians from eastern Rafah, some existing field hospitals have been transferred to the expanded humanitarian zone of Al-Mawasi in coordination with the international community, said the Israeli army. The field hospital received an increasing number of tents, food, water and medicine.

The hospital allows the entry of medical personnel and medical equipment, including medicines, beds, food, water, tents, first aid equipment, ventilators and other materials to build the field hospital via the Kerem Shalom passage.

The field hospital will be run by 150 international aid workers and dozens of beds will be prepared for emergency and routine medical treatment, the military said.

According to a KAN report, 200,000 liters of fuel were transferred to Gaza on Saturday through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The fuel would be used for essential purposes, such as hospitals, humanitarian areas, logistics centers and aid distribution.

The army also announced that around ten IDF soldiers had been attacked by hundreds of hornets in southern Gaza.

Sheba Medical Center reported that ten soldiers had arrived at the hospital for treatment. Several of them were transferred to standard wards for further treatment.

“Some fighters were stung by hundreds of bees and others by fewer,” according to Dr. Avi Ironi, director of the Sheba Emergency Medical Center.

“Some of them developed an allergic reaction to the large amount of stings they were exposed to. Intensive care, anesthesia, toxicology treatments, ophthalmologists and everyone are involved here,” he said.

“There are reports of cases that have gotten worse, so we intend to monitor them and check that they don’t get worse and that there is no systemic damage. (The soldiers) will remain under observation to ensure their condition stabilizes,” Ironi said.

“I have never seen a similar case of hundreds of bees attacking a single person. At the moment there is no danger to anyone’s life and they are in the safest place possible. »

Soldiers were attacked by wild dogs early in the invasion, leading to a mass dog cull in Gaza to prevent the spread of disease and prevent dogs from crossing the border into Israel and exposing the dogs Israelis from rabies or other diseases.

News Source : www.jpost.com
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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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