ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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IDF says troops pressing advance in ‘main Hamas stronghold’ of Khan Younis

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

This handout photo from the Israel Defense Forces on December 8, 2023, shows an Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip. (Israel Defense Forces)
This handout photo from the Israel Defense Forces on December 8, 2023, shows an Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces says its 98th Division continues to advance in southern Gaza’s Khan Younis, which it says is a “main Hamas stronghold,” killing dozens of operatives and destroying tunnels in the process.

The IDF says the 7th Armored Brigade has launched an assault to break Hamas’s lines of defense in southern Gaza, striking dozens of anti-tank missile launch sites and observation posts. It says the forces raided a main outpost belonging to Hamas’s Deir al-Balah battalion, capturing weapons and intelligence materials.

Troops of the Givati Infantry Brigade, 55th Reserve Paratroopers Brigade, and Kiryati Reserve Armored Brigade are surrounding Khan Younis and carrying out “targeted raids” against Hamas sites, the IDF says.

It says that in one of the raids, the troops found Hamas weapons in a school, including rocket launchers, mortar launchers, explosives devices and other equipment.

The Kiryati Brigade troops also captured a Hamas command center inside a mosque, where a number of operatives were holed up, according to the IDF. It says the cell was killed, as was another group of Hamas gunmen that attempted to flee into a tunnel in the area.

The Commando Brigade has carried out raids against what the IDF calls Hamas “centers of gravity” in Khan Younis, including the homes of Hamas operatives. Inside the homes, troops found weaponry and intelligence materials, it says.

Amid the battles, some Hamas fighters have surrendered to troops.

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