The Israeli army has announced that it wants to start a fight against the Hamas brigade in Rafah and disband it, which it is currently doing with the Hamas battalions in the Hanyounis city district, the Times of Israel newspaper reported, citing Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant as saying on Thursday evening.
More than 1.3 million people currently live in and around Rafah, more than half of the Gaza Strip’s 2.2 million population. Before the war, Rafah had a population of about 250,000.
Following the October 7 attack by Hamas in southern Israel that started the war between Hamas and Israel, Israeli ground forces have moved deep into the Gaza Strip to defeat the group.
The southern end of the Gaza Strip, which borders Egypt and is home to the town of Rafah and the border crossing of the same name, has been inaccessible to Israeli ground forces until now.
Gallant announced that after defeating the Hamas brigade in Hanyounis, the army would reach Rafah to “eliminate every terrorist who tries to harm us”.
The Israeli leadership suspects that the tunnels under the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip are still being used to smuggle goods and weapons into the Gaza Strip for the Hamas group.
Tags: Israel expands fighting Rafah southern Gaza Strip