December 29, 2023 | Flash Brief

IDF Expands Operations Against Hamas in Khan Younis

December 29, 2023 | Flash Brief

IDF Expands Operations Against Hamas in Khan Younis

Latest Developments

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) expanded operations against Hamas terrorists in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, the IDF said on December 29. Soldiers from Israel’s paratroopers brigade neutralized a terrorist who emerged from a tunnel. In another incident, an IDF tank unit called in a drone strike against a Hamas terrorist. A fighter jet was also used to carry out a strike on a number of terrorists in a building. IDF ground forces first targeted the key southern Gaza city in early December after reports Hamas terror leader Yahya Sinwar was in hiding in the area. In the last days of December, Israel expanded operations around Khan Younis into new areas that are still occupied by Hamas.

Expert Analysis

“Expanding operations in southern Gaza is essential for destroying Hamas’s ability to threaten Israel. Hamas continues to control numerous key areas in the south, including the area along the Egyptian border, along with areas around Khan Younis and near the Mediterranean Sea. Hamas battalions are still active and rocket and mortar fire continues. This illustrates the importance of expanded IDF operations to defeat Hamas and secure the freedom of the hostages that the terrorists hold in Gaza.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Although the extent of the Israeli military’s current phase of operations remains uncertain, the destruction of Palestinian terrorist groups in Khan Younis would undeniably represent a significant triumph for the IDF. However, given the complexity of the situation, it will likely require weeks, perhaps months, to completely neutralize the threats posed by Hamas and its allies in the city.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

IDF Targets Gaza Area Used to Attack Kibbutz on October 7

The IDF began to carry out ground operations in the southern Gaza village of Khuza’a, the IDF said on December 29. Khuza’a and the neighboring village of Khirbat Ikhz’a border both Khan Younis and Israel. Terrorists who attacked Kibbutz Nir Oz used Khuza’a as a base prior to the attack. The IDF’s 5th Reserve Infantry Brigade is fighting in Khuza’a in an operation dubbed ‘Oz and Nir,’ named after the kibbutz that was attacked from the area. The soldiers “have eliminated Hamas terrorists and attacked several significant terror targets, including tunnel entrances, tunnel shafts, and rocket launch positions,” The Jerusalem Post reported.

The IDF has found tunnel shafts, anti-tank missile launch posts, as well as weapons in the Khuza’a and Khirbat Ikhza’a area. “The combat engineering soldiers of the brigade’s combat team also destroyed terrorist infrastructure located in the residences of the terrorists who participated in the brutal massacre in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7th,” the IDF said on December 29.

Israel Seizes Hamas Funds in Raid on West Bank Money Exchanges,” FDD Flash Brief

Second American-Israeli Murdered in Hamas Captivity,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Battles Hamas Battalion in Gaza City,” FDD Flash Brief


Israel Israel at War