June 5, 2024 | Flash Brief

IDF Ground Forces Target Hamas Stronghold in Central Gaza

June 5, 2024 | Flash Brief

IDF Ground Forces Target Hamas Stronghold in Central Gaza

Latest Developments

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) began a ground operation in the Bureij area of central Gaza on June 4, confirming in a statement that “Israeli Air Force fighter jets are now attacking Hamas terrorist targets, at the same time as ground forces are carrying out targeted raids using intelligence guidance in the al-Bureij area in the central Gaza Strip.” The operation in central Gaza is also targeting the area of Deir al-Balah, where the IDF has not previously operated, The Times of Israel reported. On June 5, the IDF said it had established “operational control” in east Bureij and east Deir-al-Balah, noting that “troops of the 7th Armored Brigade and Kfir Infantry Brigade killed several gunmen in battles and by calling in airstrikes, and also located tunnel shafts.” The IDF previously fought Hamas terrorists in Bureij in January. The new ground maneuver in central Gaza comes after the IDF left Jabalya in northern Gaza, having recovered the bodies of seven hostages. Hamas continues to control a swath of areas in central Gaza, including Bureij, Nuseirat, Deir al-Balah, and other communities.

Expert Analysis

“The central Gaza strip continues to be a bastion for Hamas terrorists. Hamas members from places such as Nuseirat played a central role in the massacres of October 7, and it is important for the IDF to dismantle the remaining Hamas terrorist infrastructure in central Gaza. Over the past eight months of war, Hamas has often been able to move its terrorists through central Gaza in order to carry out attacks on Israel.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“As the war in Gaza is about to enter its eighth month, the Israeli military continues to push forward into new terrain with the aim of targeting the extensive infrastructure of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups. This development confirms the concerns of Israeli officials at the onset of the war that the conflict would be prolonged, requiring a sustained and targeted effort to dismantle the enemy’s networks in the Gaza Strip.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Israel Establishes New Counterterrorism Force to Protect Gaza Border

The Israel Defense Forces created a new counterterrorism unit to help protect Israeli communities along the Gaza border, the IDF said on June 5. “The purpose of this Lotar unit is to grant a quick response to terror attacks in the area of the Gaza border communities and is part of the military’s attempts at improving the security of the communities,” The Jerusalem Post reported. The establishment of the new unit reflects the lessons learned in the wake of the October 7 Hamas massacre.

One-Third of Hostages in Gaza Believed Dead,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Terrorists Attack Kerem Shalom Aid Crossing for Fourth Time in May,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Targets Kerem Shalom Aid Crossing and Israeli City of Ashkelon,” FDD Flash Brief

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Israel Israel at War