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Khan Younis in Gaza surrounded by Israeli forces: IDF chief

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Khan Younis in Gaza surrounded by Israeli forces: IDF chiefDecember 6, 2023Tel Aviv, Dec 5 (IANS) Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief Lt Gen Herzi Halevi said that the Israeli forces have encircled southern Gaza’s Khan Younis area. The IDF has launched the third stage of its ground offensive against Hamas in Gaza Strip.In a press conference on Tuesday, Halevi said that after 60 days since the beginning of the war, the IDF have surrounded the Khan Younis area in southern Gaza.He also said that the IDF was working to deepen the achievement in the northern part of the Strip.The IDF said: “Anyone who thought that the IDF would not know how to resume the fighting after the truce was mistaken. Hamas is feeling this strongly.”He also said that in the last few days since the war resumed on Friday, December 1, many operatives, including senior commanders, were eliminated.Halevi said: “We captured many Hamas strongholds in northern Gaza, and now we are operating against its centers of gravity in the south He added that the Israel army was striking Hamas above and below ground, from the air, land and sea.”The IDF chief further said: “They ask us a lot about the destruction in Gaza. Hamas is the address, Sinwar is the address. Our forces find in nearly every home weapons and terrorists. We understand that part of their way of operating is to leave weapons in the homes… a terrorist comes to the home in civilian clothing, and fights from there.”He also said that the IDF’s military pressure on Hamas has advanced the goals of the war, including the return of the hostages.Though the army’s focus remains on the Gaza Strip, he says operations are continuing in the north, where hostilities have also resumed since a week-long truce ended on Friday. –IANSaal/pgh

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