IDF winning in Khan Yunis, but facing high resistance

The IDF is steadily winning control of pieces of Khan Yunis away from Hamas, but is facing some of the toughest resistance of the war to date.

If on Monday night, the IDF caught Hamas by surprise by invading Khan Yunis from multiple directions and with creative maneuvers, as the week has dragged on, the terror organization regrouped, found its footing, and “is fighting over every centimeter.”

The IDF confirmed on Friday afternoon that after a prolonged raid, many weapons were found in the area of a school, including launchers, mortar barrels, RPGs, explosives and intelligence belonging to the Khan Yunis Brigade.

Information warfare

In parallel to unleashing a mix of massive fire power from the air, artillery, tanks and a range of infantry and commando units, the IDF is using information warfare to inject a wedge between the general Gazan population and Hamas.

The name in Arabic for the informational warfare campaign refers both to “opening the gates of hell” for Hamas as well as “a new horizon” for Palestinian civilians.

That means that there are both areas where Hamas forces are surrendering and areas where they are fighting with great intensity.

Flares fired by the Israeli military fly above Khan Younis, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, in the southern Gaza Strip, December 3, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Insurgency tactics 

It is expected to take the IDF time to gain control of Khan Yunis due to the mix of terrain between built-up and agricultural areas and Hamas’s extensive tunnel network. 

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There has also been an increase in using female lookouts and female Palestinians to try to attack IDF forces with improvised explosives.

The IDF is hoping to get more Palestinian civilians to move to Rafah and a humanitarian zone near Khan Yunis, but Hamas continues to use them as human shields, forcing the IDF to use creative tactics to mitigate harm to civilians, while making military progress.

Top defense officials during the ceasefire predicted that the main part of the war would go on until the end of January, followed by a three to nine month lower-grade insurgency.