Israeli soldiers are seen during a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg) (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)
IDF, Gaza

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The IDF on Monday called on the civilian residents of eastern Rafah to evacuate to humanitarian zones.

By JNS

Israel Defense Forces ground troops on Wednesday continued the offensive against Hamas in the Gaza terrorist bastion of Rafah.

Soldiers killed an some 30 gunmen and located tunnel shafts and other underground infrastructure on the 215th day of the war, the army announced.

“IDF forces led by the 162nd Division and under the intelligence guidance of the Shin Bet and the Military Intelligence Directorate continue targeted operations in eastern Rafah against Hamas terrorists and the group’s terrorist infrastructure,” the army said.

In addition, troops from the division’s Givati and 401st Armored brigades killed Palestinian terrorists in close-quarters combat. The brigades’ combat teams also worked to destroy terrorist infrastructure above and below ground.

Givati infantrymen spotted a terrorist nearby with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and killed him before he could attack.

“Meanwhile, forces of the 401st Brigade continue raids on the Gazan side of the Rafah Crossing following indications and intelligence information that terrorists are using the area,” the army said.

Over the past 24 hours, Israeli Air Force fighter jets attacked more than a hundred targets throughout the coastal enclave, including terrorist bases, observation posts and launch positions.

Evacuations of some 100,000 noncombatants from eastern Rafah started on Monday ahead of an overnight operation in which the IDF took control of the Rafah Crossing with Egypt and the southern section of the Salah ad-Din Road, the Gaza Strip’s main highway that runs more than 28 miles, spanning the territory from south to north.

The IDF on Monday called on the civilian residents of eastern Rafah to evacuate to humanitarian zones. The IDF has marked out two evacuation zones: an expansion of the Al-Mawasi zone, along the central-southern Gazan coastline, and Khan Yunis.

Already 50,000 Palestinians have left Rafah in the past 48 hours following the evacuation orders, a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) staffer told CNN on Wednesday.

In his first official comments on the operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday night noted that “within hours, our forces raised Israeli flags at the Rafah Crossing and took down the Hamas banners.

“Seizing the Rafah Crossing is a very significant step towards destroying the remaining military capabilities of Hamas, including the elimination of the four terrorist battalions in Rafah, and an important step to damage the governmental capabilities of Hamas,” said the premier.

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