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IDF commences third stage of operation against Hamas, surrounds Khan Younis

IDF commences third stage of operation against Hamas, surrounds Khan Younis Illustrative photo (Photo: facebook com tzahalonline2)
Author: Daria Shekina

The Israel Defense Forces began the third stage of the ground offensive against Hamas. Troops are surrounding the city of Khan Younis, according to the Chief of the General Staff of the IDF, Herzi Halevi.

He clarifies that the military is currently in the phase of encircling the city of Khan Younis, located in the southern Gaza Strip.

In the press conference, Halevi also says that the military had foreseen Hezbollah would resume its attacks on northern Israel following a week-long ceasefire with Hamas.

"After 60 days since the beginning of the war, our forces are surrounding the Khan Younis area in southern Gaza. At the same time, we are working to deepen the achievement in the northern part of the Strip. Anyone who thought that the IDF would not know how to resume the fighting after the truce was mistaken. Hamas is feeling this strongly," says Halevi.

IDF transitions to the third phase of the operation

Halevi reports that in recent days, many operatives, including senior commanders, have been eliminated. The Chief of Staff explains that the IDF has moved to the third phase of the ground operation.

IDF commences third stage of operation against Hamas, surrounds Khan Younis

Photo: Khan Yunis (

"We captured many Hamas strongholds in northern Gaza, and now we are operating against its centers of gravity in the south," he says.

He also adds that the military is conducting professional operations, clearing Palestinian civilians from combat areas in advance. Additionally, strikes against Hamas are being carried out on land, underground, from the air, land, and sea.

According to him, the military pressure from the IDF on Hamas has contributed to achieving the war's objectives, including the return of hostages.

Israel and Hamas conflict

Hamas militants invaded Israel on October 7. Terrorists began killing and abducting both military and civilian individuals. Shortly after, Jerusalem announced Operation Iron Swords and attacked terrorist locations in the Gaza Strip.

On November 24, a temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas began for the release of captives. The parties then agreed to a four-day ceasefire, but decided to extend it for an additional two days on the condition that militants would release more hostages.

On December 1, Israel resumed combat operations in the Gaza Strip. The IDF stated that Hamas violated the ceasefire terms.

According to Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant, Israel resumed fire after Hamas refused to release hostages, including two children.