April 29, 2024 | Flash Brief

IDF Strikes Hamas Positions in Rafah Ahead of Planned Offensive

April 29, 2024 | Flash Brief

IDF Strikes Hamas Positions in Rafah Ahead of Planned Offensive

Latest Developments

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out airstrikes in Rafah on April 29 ahead of a planned offensive on the southern Gazan city, where several battalions of Hamas terrorists remain operational. The previous day, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi met with Israeli commanders in charge of the Gaza front and approved military plans for the “continuation of the war.”

The strikes in Rafah came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to President Joe Biden about the ongoing plight of the 133 remaining Israeli hostages in Gaza as well as enhancing recent progress in the supply of aid to Palestinian civilians. “The President stressed the need for this progress to be sustained and enhanced in full coordination with humanitarian organizations. The leaders discussed Rafah and the President reiterated his clear position,” the White House said. Israel has given hostage talks in Egypt one more chance before embarking on an offensive in Rafah, The Times of Israel reported on April 26.

Expert Analysis

“Hamas uses its control over Rafah to continue to hold hostages, smuggle weapons into Gaza, and command the humanitarian aid that enters the territory, allowing the terrorist group to simultaneously build up an arsenal and exploit aid deliveries in order to maintain its domination over the civilian population.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“One of the intriguing aspects of the Rafah operation is what Israel may find underground. Israel is expected to discover not only Hamas military infrastructure beneath Rafah but possibly a network of tunnels connecting Gaza to Egypt. The potential discovery will raise questions about Egypt’s lack of action in preventing the construction of these tunnels and could lead to a diplomatic dispute with the Jewish state.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal 

IDF Carries Out Raids Against Hamas in Central Gaza

Israeli forces carried out raids against terrorists in central Gaza along a security corridor that the IDF controls, the IDF said on April 28. In addition, the head of IDF Southern Command and the commander of Israel’s 99th Division, which is operating in the Netzarim corridor between Gaza City and central Gaza, discussed “the activity of the forces in the area, and approved operational plans,” according to the IDF. On the same day, Israeli warplanes and drones struck dozens of terror sites in Gaza, including rocket launching positions and observation posts, the IDF noted. “IDF troops identified several terrorists adjacent to IDF ground troops. Swift coordination between forces meant IAF aircraft quickly struck and eliminated the terrorists,” the IDF said.

Terrorists Attack U.S. Pier Under Construction Off Gaza Coast,” FDD Flash Brief

Egypt Seeks Hostage Negotiations Breakthrough,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Releases Video of American-Israeli Hostage,” FDD Flash Brief


Arab Politics Egypt Israel Israel at War