October 26, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Launches Tank Raid Into Gaza to Target Terrorist Sites

October 26, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Launches Tank Raid Into Gaza to Target Terrorist Sites

Latest Developments

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched its first major ground operation in the Gaza Strip on October 26. The IDF used tanks in an overnight raid that included dismantling terrorist infrastructure and striking anti-tank missile launch posts. Israeli forces withdrew from Gaza after the incursion. This is the first time Israel has publicly revealed its ground operations in Gaza, and it comes prior to an expected larger ground assault against Hamas and other terrorist groups in the coastal territory.

Expert Analysis

“The first major ground operation in Gaza prepares the way for more attacks on Hamas on the ground. In order to defeat Hamas and other terror groups, Israel must be able to control ground in Gaza and dismantle tunnels and other terrorist sites throughout the territory.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“The IDF lost more than 300 soldiers on October 7. Young women and men fought heroically, and some of the wounded have already returned to the front lines to complete the mission ahead. Despite the will and resolve of the Jewish state to eliminate Hamas and finally put an end to the terror and incessant rocket fire, the military is behaving with restraint and professionalism.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

Terror Groups in Gaza Are Holding 224 Hostages

Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza hold 224 hostages, including at least 30 children, according to the latest update by the IDF. Although four hostages were released since the massive attack on October 7, the number of hostages identified continues to rise. One of the hostages released earlier this week, 85-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz, described how her captors hit her and took her through tunnels underneath Gaza. “They seemed prepared for this. They prepared for this for a long time,” she said.

Hamas Uses Civilians as Human Shields

Israel has called on civilians to leave the northern Gaza Strip and move south, where they can be safer and receive humanitarian aid. However, Israel says that its IDF intelligence directorate has revealed how Hamas continues to use civilians as human shields and prevents people from evacuating to the south. The IDF released a recording on Thursday of a civilian in Gaza describing how Hamas has blocked roads leading south. Hamas has been using human shields since it took over Gaza in 2007, according to a report from NATO’s Strategic Communications Center of Excellence.

Israel Declares Global War on Hamas,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel’s War Against Hamas Will Take Time,” by Enia Krivine

Ex-Hostage Recounts Hamas Mass-Kidnapping Tactics,” FDD Flash Brief


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