Hamas Strongholds Targeted by Israel: Khan Younis, Jabaliya and Shajaiye

With Israel urgent its offensive in Gaza, its forces had been engaged in intense battles on Monday in three areas of the strip the place Israeli officers imagine Hamas militants nonetheless have strongholds.

Khan Younis is the most important metropolis in southern Gaza. Its prewar inhabitants of about 200,000 folks swelled within the first month of the warfare, after Israel ordered civilians to go away the northern a part of the strip forward of its floor invasion. Many Hamas fighters are additionally believed to have moved south, and Khan Younis — its housing blocks, hospitals and shelters overflowing with civilians — was not spared within the early combating. Israel repeatedly focused the town with airstrikes.

The Israeli navy now describes Khan Younis as “Hamas’s navy capital” and, in current weeks, instructed civilians there to flee towards the border as its forces pushed south. The town is residence to Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated in a video posted final week on social media: “Our forces are encircling Sinwar’s home. He can escape, however it is just a matter of time till we attain him.”

Jabaliya began out as a refugee camp many years in the past and has grow to be a densely constructed neighborhood of condominium blocks in northern Gaza that’s residence to roughly 100,000 folks. A lot of them are Palestinians and their descendants who fled or had been expelled from their properties through the warfare sparked by Israel’s creation in 1948.

Jabaliya has lengthy been thought of a Hamas stronghold. It additionally has a storied place in Palestinian historical past: It was the place the primary rebellion in opposition to Israel, recognized in Arabic because the Intifada, began on Dec. 9. 1987.

Within the many years since, it has been the scene of combating in almost each spasm of violence between Israel and the Palestinians, and it has been subjected to repeated airstrikes for the reason that outset of the present warfare on Oct. 7.

On Oct. 31, Israel used no less than two 2,000-pound bombs throughout an airstrike on Jabaliya, in line with consultants and an evaluation carried out by The New York Instances of satellite tv for pc pictures, photographs and movies. Hospital officers stated that dozens of civilians had been killed and lots of wounded within the strike. Israel stated it was concentrating on a Hamas commander and fighters, in addition to the community of underground tunnels utilized by Hamas to cover weapons and fighters.

One other neighborhood in northern Gaza, Shajaiye can also be a densely packed space that has been equally struck by Israeli airstrikes for the reason that warfare started.

Israel has lengthy stated the neighborhood features as a base for Hamas, and it was the scene of a bloody Israeli assault in an earlier battle in Gaza in 2014. The combating in July that yr resulted in what was one of many deadliest single days for the Palestinians and for the Israeli navy in that warfare. At the very least 60 Palestinians and 13 Israeli troopers and officers had been killed in Shejaiya in an assault that the then-secretary common of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, referred to as “an atrocious motion.”

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