Southern Command chief holds assessment in Gaza on operations, relief efforts

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

Chief of the IDF Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman (center) meets with officers in central Gaza, April 26, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)
Chief of the IDF Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman (center) meets with officers in central Gaza, April 26, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

The chief of the IDF Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman, held an assessment in the central Gaza Strip over the weekend, as the 99th Division was deployed to the area, the military announces.

The IDF mobilized two reserve brigades to take control of the central Gaza corridor and secure a US-led project to bring aid into the Palestinian enclave via a floating pier.

The division’s 679th “Yiftah” Armored Brigade and the 2nd “Carmeli” Infantry Brigade, alongside combat engineers and the Multidomain Unit — also known as the Ghost Unit — have been carrying out pinpoint raids in the Netzarim corridor area over the past week, the IDF says.

IDF troops operate in the central Gaza corridor, in a handout image published April 28, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

“The raids are taking place while [the troops are] protecting the corridor area… and carrying out actions that will allow the transfer of humanitarian aid,” the military says.

On Friday, Finkelman held an assessment with the commander of the 99th Division, Brig. Gen. Barak Hiram. The IDF says the pair discussed “the activity of the forces in the area, and approved operational plans.”

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