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The IDF in the Gaza Strip: decreasing forces and increasing activity

In the past week, the IDF carried out another decrease of its maneuvering forces in the Gaza Strip, and returned reserve battalions that had taken up the front line since the outbreak of the war, and the 646th Brigade that had operated in the Khan Yunis area. at this stage the IDF is operating in the smallest number of forces in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of November, and all the maneuvering brigades are regular forces. However, this does not indicate a decrease in activity level – on the contrary: In recent days, Division 162 has begun operations in the Zaitun neighborhood in southern Gaza City, facing targets that were not dealt with in the previous round, and terrorists who have left their hiding places. So far, dozens of terrorists have been killed in the operation. This coincides with media reports that in Zaitun the government is considering starting a pilot for the “day after” solution in the Gaza Strip – and to create a local government that is not dependent on Hamas, but based on local clans and strong families. The reports have not yet been verified or addressed by the government (which still manages to maintain ambiguity on this issue – 150 days after the outbreak of the war).

In the southern Gaza Strip, the IDF is not stop its activities: Soldiers under the command of Division 98 operated in a tunnel beneeth Khan Yunis, which was used by major Hamas figures. In the tunnel, the fighters encountered Hamas operatives, whom they killed after a short face-to-face battle; the tunnel – more than a kilometer in its length – was later destroyed by fighters from the Yahalom unit. In addition, last night the Air Force carried out a series of attacks in Rafah: At least 8 targets were attacked, including 5 homes. The question of the ground activity in Rafah is still open.

There was no quiet in the northern front, either. The IDF attacked a number of Hezbollah targets in villages along the Lebanese border, and in Syria it carried out a more targeted attack, against an apartment in the heart of Damascus. The attack killed at least 3 people, whose identity has not yet been revealed; however, according to foreign reports, there is a connection to the Iranians. The ultimate goal is to prove to Assad that Iran’s presence in his country is not paying off in the long run.

To respond – rxpuyhi@gmail.com

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