Israel Presses Assault on Hamas' Last Major Gaza Bastion

(Wall Street Journal) Dov Lieber - Israeli forces pressed forward into the Hamas stronghold of Khan Yunis, a city of over 400,000 before the war. In close-quarters combat, Hamas fighters are defending their last major bastion in Gaza, home to its leader, Yahya Sinwar, and the location where Israel believes the group's other leaders are hiding and holding hostages. An Israeli victory in Khan Yunis would likely corner remaining Hamas fighters in small areas. "If Hamas loses Khan Yunis, they are done. They may have some enclaves there, but they will lose their centers of gravity," said Kobi Michael, a senior fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. Israeli forces told residents of Khan Yunis on Tuesday to urgently evacuate its eastern and northern neighborhoods, using leaflets, phone messages and social media. Israel is encouraging civilians to move to Rafah on the border with Egypt, or to a "humanitarian zone" in Al-Mawasi, along the Mediterranean Sea. "The best [thing] for them to do is to always move to the Mawasi, it will be safe for them," said IDF spokesman Lt.-Col. Richard Hecht. Michael Horowitz, head of intelligence at Le Beck International, a security and risk management consulting firm, said the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, along with attacks by other Iranian-backed groups in Lebanon, Yemen and the West Bank, have made Israelis determined to win the war, no matter the price. "Israeli society understands we are in front of two options: to be or not to be," he said. The Biden administration, while pressing Israel to do what it can to avoid civilian casualties, has supported its ally's goal of defeating Hamas, which the U.S. designates a terrorist organization.

2023-12-06 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive