The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Thursday that Israeli soldiers had achieved “operational control” in the center of Khan Yunis, the most important Hamas stronghold in the Gaza Strip, where terrorist leaders are thought to be hiding underground.
IDF troops continue operating in Gaza:
IDF soldiers carried out operations inside multiple military command centers, eliminated terrorists and dismantled their infrastructure and weapons in the area.
Additionally, IAF aircraft struck 4 identified armed terrorists… pic.twitter.com/gbUR6rAc9g
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) January 25, 2024
In a statement, the IDF said:
The Commando Brigade is continuing operations in the Khan Yunis area and is strengthening its operational control in this Hamas terrorist stronghold. IDF soldiers who specialize in urban warfare are fighting in particularly challenging terrain and are using their experience and operational skills to carry out these missions.
During the soldiers’ advance in the area, they encountered numerous terrorist cells and eliminated them using sniper fire, precision missiles and tank fire. In one of the encounters, soldiers of the Egoz Unit identified three armed terrorists and launched a precision “Iron Sting” missile, resulting in the elimination of the terrorists. In addition, during operations on a structure in the area, the soldiers eliminated four terrorists in close-quarters combat.
In a special operation by snipers of the Egoz Unit, the soldiers carried out several precise eliminations over several hours using a deception method adapted to combating enemy cells that emerge from underground.
Furthermore, soldiers of the Maglan Unit are carrying out intensive operations in the field. The soldiers are eliminating terrorists in fierce battles, conducting target based raids on terrorist targets and locating large quantities of weapons. The soldiers operated against the military command and control center of the Islamic Jihad’s Intelligence Commander, as well as a Hamas command and control center where they located large quantities of ammunition, weapons, tactical radios, night vision equipment, maps and significant intelligence.
Hamas is also thought to be holding the 136 remaining Israeli hostages, including dozens of corpses, in Khan Yunis.
The advance of the IDF will give Israel leverage in talks to free the hostages, but progress may be stopped if the International Court of Justice delivers a preliminary ruling Friday that Israel might commit “genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza. Israel is a signatory to the Genocide Convention of 1948 and therefore may be required to obey court decisions, regardless of how absurd they seem to be.
Israel has already eliminated most of the Hamas infrastructure in the northern Gaza Strip, and has established control in the central Gaza Strip. Khan Yunis (or Younis) is crucial, as is Rafah, a town on the Egyptian border that has yet to see major fighting.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the 2021 e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now updated with a new foreword. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.