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Israel says 18 of 24 Hamas battalions in Gaza Strip ‘destroyed’

In Europe
February 17, 2024

Israel’s army has dismantled the majority of Hamas’ military divisions in the Gaza war, according to Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

“There were 24 regional battalions in Gaza – we have disbanded 18 of them,” Gallant said on Friday. According to the military, each of these battalions is estimated to have around 1,000 members.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently said there are still four Hamas battalions in Rafah near the Egyptian border. The army is currently planning operations in the city in the south of the coastal region, Gallant added.

Media reports indicate that members of the military arm of Hamas are continuing to fight as guerrilla troops following the destruction of their battalions. Cells consisting of only a few members emerge from tunnels and attack Israeli soldiers, for example.

“As soon as this war is over, there will no longer be a Hamas military force in Gaza,” Gallant asserted. “Neither Israel nor Hamas will have control over Gaza.”

The planned Israeli offensive in Rafah is considered extremely controversial, as the humanitarian situation for the people in the area is already dramatically bad.

UN aid organizations as well as leading Western politicians are warning of serious consequences for the civilian population and are calling for their protection

More than one million civilians currently live in the city, most of them refugees from other parts of the Gaza Strip.

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