Half of Hamas terrorists in Rafah killed – IDF

IDF says hundreds of Hamas terrorists eliminated during Rafah operation

By World Israel News Staff

The Israel Defense Forces has made significant progress in the ongoing operation against Hamas forces in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, with an army spokesperson claiming Israel has destroyed about half of Hamas’s fighting force in the area, with at least 550 gunmen killed thus far.

The IDF’s 162nd Division has been actively engaged in Rafah for over 40 days, as part of the effort to destroy Hamas’ last remaining intact battalions, located in the southern Gaza enclave.

The IDF’s 162nd Division has suffered 22 fatalities thus far during the Rafah operation, including 8 killed in a recent blast in an armored vehicle under attack.

Initially, Israeli forces secured the city’s eastern outskirts and the Egyptian border crossing in early May. The operation then advanced to capture Rafah’s Brazil neighborhood approximately a week and a half later.

In the third phase of the offensive, the IDF took control of the entire Egypt-Gaza border, known as the Philadelphi Route, and moved into the city’s northwestern Tel Sultan neighborhood.

The IDF confirms at least 550 gunmen have been killed in Rafah, with more terror operatives believed to have been eliminated in strikes against buildings and tunnels. Additionally, many operatives fled the area as the military offensive commenced.

Prior to the beginning of the IDF operation in Rafah, Hamas had four active battalions in the city, with two – Yabna, or South Rafah, and East Rafah – being completely destroyed

Of the two remaining battalions, Shaboura in the north and Tel Sultan in the west remain intact, but have been badly degraded in terms of combat effectiveness.

Along the Philadelphi corridor, the IDF has discovered hundreds of rockets, including long-range projectiles aimed at central Israel, and over 200 tunnel shafts leading to numerous underground routes.

Israeli forces have identified at least 25 major tunnels reaching the Egyptian border, some of which likely extend into Sinai and were used by Hamas for smuggling weapons. The military is conducting further investigations into these tunnels.

Apart from securing the Philadelphi Route, the IDF has established complete operational control over the Brazil neighborhood and the NPK neighborhood of Rafah, near the Shaboura and Yabna camps, which are known Hamas strongholds. Troops have killed dozens of gunmen in tunnels within these areas.