Gaza Conflict: Following more than 200 strikes, Israel suspends military operations in Jabalia


Gaza Conflict: Following more than 200 strikes, Israel suspends military operations in Jabalia

Following numerous days of intense combat and over 200 bombings, Israeli forces have suspended their activities in the Jabalia region of northern Gaza. They are purportedly targeting the final major stronghold of Hamas forces in south Gaza as they continue their inquiry into Rafah.

After finding caches of rocket launchers and other weapons, as well as Hamas tunnel shafts in the center of Rafah on Friday, Israeli troops, according to the IDF, launched an attack to dismantle operational combat units they believe are holed up in the city on the Egyptian border.

Gaza Conflict
According to the IDF, Israeli troops launched an attack to dismantle operating combat units they claim are holed up in the city on the Egyptian border after discovering caches of rocket launchers and other weaponry as well as Hamas tunnel shafts in the heart of Rafah on Friday

After more than two weeks of fierce combat in Jabalia, the Israeli military gave an update, saying that troops had completed their objective and were leaving to allow for future operations in Gaza.

On October 7, of last year, Hamas-led operatives stormed into Israel, killing some 1,200 people in the process. Seventy-five of the 250 captives taken were found dead, according to Israeli estimates.

Over 36,000 Palestinians have died as a result of Israel’s air and ground conflict, according to Gaza’s health ministry, which is run by Hamas, and most of the densely populated area is in ruins.

On Friday, a senior security official in Israel declared that Israel will not accept a ceasefire that does not involve the release of the remaining hostages. Hamas said on Thursday that it would be ready for an agreement that would see the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

The Israeli military statement claimed that Hamas had converted the congested urban sector of Jabalia, which is home to refugees and their descendants from the 1948 conflict that led to the creation of Israel, from a “civilian area into a fortified combat compound.”

It claimed that hundreds of agents were slain by Israeli forces in close quarters fighting, significant weapon stockpiles were taken, and primed rocket launchers were destroyed.

According to the report, Israel forces killed the district battalion commander of Hamas and destroyed a network of weapons-filled tunnels that spanned more than 10 km underground.

Israel has attributed the high civilian casualty rate in the conflict on what it claims is Hamas’ willful embedding of fighters in residential neighborhoods. Hamas has refuted claims that its fighters use civilians as cover.

Weeks of fierce fighting have severely damaged Jabalia, highlighting Israel’s challenges in eliminating Hamas forces.

Early in the Israeli assault, there were weeks of intense fighting in Jabalia. In January, the IDF declared that it had killed all of the Hamas commanders and destroyed the combat units of Gaza’s ruling group in the region.

Due of Hamas’s strong ties to Gaza’s socioeconomic structure, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to eliminate the Islamist organization as a political and military entity has met resistance.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken encouraged Israel to develop a post-war strategy for Gaza, cautioning that in the absence of one, future military successes could not be sustainable and that anarchy, turmoil, and a return of Hamas could result.

As part of a series of probing operations surrounding the area that has turned into one of the primary focal points of the Gaza war, Israeli tanks thundered into the heart of Rafah on Tuesday.

Longer-range missiles, rocket-propelled grenades, explosives, and ammo were discovered by the army while conducting “intelligence-based operational activities” near Rafah, which straddles Gaza’s border with Egypt.

For the first time in months, Hamas gunmen showed off their prowess in Rafah last week when they launched rockets at Tel Aviv, Israel’s major commercial center, on Sunday.

The smaller operative ally of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, reported on Friday that it opened fire with mortar bombs on Israeli soldiers and vehicles that were approaching the area of Salah al-Din Gate on Rafah’s south.

More than a million Palestinians forced from their homes by fighting in other parts of the small coastal enclave found sanctuary in Rafah, the only major city in Gaza still held by Israeli soldiers. However, the majority of these people have now fled after being ordered to leave ahead of the Israeli attack.

Israel has been indicating for weeks that it plans to target the last few Hamas battalions in Rafah. This has drawn criticism from around the world and cautions from allies like the US not to attack the city as long as it is still home to a large number of displaced people.

The dangers were highlighted on Sunday when a fire that killed at least forty-five people was started by an Israeli airstrike outside the city that was intended to target two Hamas commanders.

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