Israel advances on Rafah, south of Gaza, where 1.1 million people have been displaced

“In the center or the south of the Gaza Strip, especially, we will finally reach places where we have not fought before. [bastião] of Hamas located in Rafah”, he told a press conference.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant reiterated today that the army would advance on the “Hamas stronghold” of Rafah, the southern Gaza Strip where more than 1.1 million Palestinians have taken refuge.

“In the center or the south of the Gaza Strip, especially, we will finally reach places where we have not fought before. [bastião] of Hamas located in Rafah”, he told a press conference.

“Every terrorist hiding in Rafah must know that his end will be like Khan Younis [na cidade de] Gaza”, the minister continued, and follows the incursion of the Islamist movement Hamas into Israeli territory on October 7, after four months of relentless and devastating bombing and artillery attacks on the Palestinian enclave.

On Sunday, the Israeli military said it destroyed Hamas's headquarters in Khan Yunis, a compound known as Al Qadisah and where, according to the military, Hamas planned and trained members of the group for the October 7 attacks.

According to the Israelis, the training center and offices of Mohammed Shinwar, the commander of this brigade and the brother of Yahya Shinwar, the head of Hamas in Gaza, which had not yet been captured by Jewish forces, were found in Khan Yunis.

Gallant assured that “the ground operation is progressing and fulfilling its objectives” and that 18 Hamas battalions had been “destroyed” and that “about half” of the fighters had been killed or seriously wounded.

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The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, was sparked by the Islamist movement's attack on Israeli territory on October 7.

That day, 1,140 people were killed, mostly civilians but more than 400 soldiers, according to the latest official Israeli figures. About 240 civilians and soldiers were abducted, and Israel says 127 remain in the Gaza Strip.

In retaliation, Israel, which has vowed to destroy the Palestinian Islamist movement, has been bombing the Gaza Strip, where, according to the local government led by Hamas, at least 28,400 people have been killed – mostly women, children and youth – and many more. 67,000 people were injured, mostly civilians.

The Israeli offensive has also destroyed much of Gaza's infrastructure and forced nearly 2.3 million people to flee their homes.

The people of the Gaza Strip are facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis due to the collapse of hospitals, outbreaks of epidemics and shortages of drinking water, food, medicine and electricity.

Since October 7, at least 375 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli military and settler attacks in the Jewish state-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, with an additional 5,600 arrests and more than 3,000 injuries.

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