January 4, 2024 | Flash Brief

IDF Thwarts Hamas Threats in Khan Younis

January 4, 2024 | Flash Brief

IDF Thwarts Hamas Threats in Khan Younis

Latest Developments

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) prevented three terrorists from planting an explosive device near Israeli troops in Gaza, the IDF said on January 4. “In response, an [Israeli Air Force] aircraft directed by the troops targeted and killed the terrorists,” the IDF noted in a statement. The IDF troops also eliminated other terrorists in Khan Younis. Israeli forces have been fighting in Khan Younis — the hometown of Hamas terror leader Yahya Sinwar — in southern Gaza since early December. As the IDF reduces operations in northern Gaza, southern and central Gaza have become centers of operations against terror threats.

Expert Analysis

“Hamas terrorist infrastructure must be completely removed from Gaza to prevent more threats from the area. Hamas used hundreds of miles of underground tunnels to prepare its attack on Israel on October 7, and it moved hostages through the tunnels in Gaza. The struggle against Hamas in places like Khan Younis will take time because the threat from underground continues and is challenging to eliminate.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Hamas has ruled Gaza with an iron fist since 2007. Hundreds of millions of aid dollars were squandered, turning the Mediterranean enclave into a terror fortress. The work to dismantle Hamas military infrastructure in Gaza will involve painstaking searches and dogged determination and will likely continue to exact a heavy cost on the IDF.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

Defeating Hamas in Khan Younis Requires a Long-Term Operation

Israeli operations in Khan Younis against Hamas terrorist infrastructure will take time, IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said on January 3. “In Gaza, in Khan Younis, our forces continue to operate underground. This operation takes time, both for our forces’ safety and because we use classified and new methods. We do not want to reveal our combat methods to the enemy,” he said. Hamas operates in tunnels underneath Gaza; finding its underground infrastructure and removing it are complex tasks. In addition, Hagari noted that the IDF has been finding sites where “Hamas produces and assembles rockets, [and] some are located underground with significant manufacturing machinery, including some from other countries, including Iran.”

IDF Finds Rockets in Family Home

In the central Gaza area of Al-Bureij, the IDF found rockets and other weapons inside civilian homes. “Inside one family’s house, the 188th Brigade found long-range rockets, which, according to the IDF, had a range of approximately 20 kilometers,” a report in The Jerusalem Post said. Hamas continues to use these kinds of rockets to attack Israel. On January 3, sirens sounded in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon.

Hamas No. 3 Killed in Beirut Blast,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Shifts to ‘Third Phase’ of Gaza War,” FDD Flash Brief

IDF Expands Operations Against Hamas in Khan Younis,” FDD Flash Brief


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