Violent clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Islamist Hamas militants in western Khan Yunis on Monday, witnesses said. Fighting took place near two hospitals and in tent cities for refugees from the north of the Gaza Strip.
According to Israeli media reports, the army confirmed a major advance into an area west of Khan Yunis that had not previously been reached. The surgery may take several days. The aim was to render Khan Younis's Hamas faction incapacitated. So far, 50 Hamas fighters have been killed, including a company commander. The army said that 3 soldiers were killed on the Israeli side.
It also said that it was aware that the army was operating in a densely populated area. At the same time, however, she faces the fact that Hamas terrorists are repeatedly attacking her from hospitals, mosques and residential areas.
Khan Younis is considered a Hamas stronghold. Jihia Al Sinwar, their leader in the Gaza Strip, hails from there. As with the entire coastal region, Hamas also developed an extensive tunnel system under Khan Younis. However, the whereabouts of Al-Sinwar and his leadership are unknown.
Militants continue unabated in northern Israel along Lebanon's border. Israel's military and Hezbollah, the Shiite militia in southern Lebanon, announced mutual shelling on Monday.
The Israeli military said warplanes bombed a military building in Marun al-Ras, south Lebanon, where several “terrorists” were staying. A video was released showing the attack followed by a large explosion and several subsequent explosions. The army insisted that the explosives were an indication of the presence of weapons. Further attacks took place in Maruhin, Sihineh, Taibi, Tajir Harfa and the towns of Kafarqila and Bilita.
In turn, Hezbollah said it struck three different targets in Israel. Militants have recorded 167 deaths since fighting began on October 7 following a bloody Hamas attack on Israel. Hassan Fadlallah, a senior member of Hezbollah and a member of the Lebanese parliament, said Israel had gone too far with its attacks in recent weeks and had learned nothing from previous fighting. “For every martyr's blood that irrigates this land, thousands of mujahideen are born,” Fadlallah said. Mujahideen generally refers to fighters from Islamic groups.
Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Galant confirmed in a meeting with his French counterpart Sébastien Lecornu in Tel Aviv that Israel will continue firing on Hezbollah until residents of northern Israel are again safe from attacks from the neighboring country. Tens of thousands of Israelis have now been evacuated from there to safety in other parts of the country. Israel has called on Hezbollah fighters to withdraw from the border. “A war in the north would be challenging for Israel, but disastrous for Hezbollah and Lebanon,” Galant warned.
Since the start of the Gaza war, the Israel-Lebanon border has seen repeated clashes between Israel's military and militant groups such as Hezbollah. It was the worst escalation since the Second Lebanon War in 2006.