IDF Wipes Out Hamas In Khan Yunis’ Hamad Neighborhood In Preparation For Rafah Invasion

by David Mark

Why is the IDF making such a big deal about the completion of its operation against Hamas in the Hamad Town residential complex in southern Gaza’s Khan Yunis?

The answer is – Rafah.

The mission, which started earlier this month was carried out by Egoz and Maglan commandos, which unlike the Northern Gaza campaign - have been the primary fighting force going southward into Khan Yunis. After each neighborhood is cleared, other commando units takeover the neighborhoods as engineering squads blow up tunnels and special forces look for clues and intelligence.

The commandos had raided the multi-story buildings in the Qatari-funded neighborhood, where the IDF said there was Hamas infrastructure.

In one building, used by the deputy commander of a Hamas battalion in Khan Younis, the IDF says the troops captured a cache of weapons. More than 100 gunmen were killed in the operation, and buildings used by Hamas, including some that were booby-trapped, were destroyed, according to the IDF.

With the Rafah operation slated to begin soon, the successful sweep of the Hamad Town complex is key in collecting the needed intelligence to accurately locate the hostages and to understand the nature of Hamas defenses in Rafah. Regardless of the pressure being piled on Israel by the US administration, the IDF will be sent into Rafah. No one should expect the sort of ground invasion that was carried out in Northern Gaza, but rather the type of attacks carried out the by the 98th Brigade made up of Egoz and Maglan. What has made the Khan Yunis campaign work was the high level of Israel’s commando forces and battle readiness they achieved fighting in the North. 

Expect Israel to move into Rafah in stages without fanfare. The IDF will take Rafah neighborhood by neighborhood and tunnel by tunnel - it’s only a matter of time.

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