Tel Aviv [Israel], December 7: Many US officials have predicted when Israel might end large-scale military operations in southern Gaza.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on December 6 that "fierce battles" between them and Hamas members in the Gaza Strip continued as the Israeli air force launched attacks on more than 250 targets in 24 months. now, according to The Times of Israel . Meanwhile, Hamas's al Qassam Brigade said its members fought, killed eight soldiers and destroyed 24 Israeli military vehicles on December 5, according to Reuters.
"The most stressful day"
The IDF made the above announcement a day after Israeli soldiers advanced into the center of Khan Younis city in southern Gaza and surrounded the city, according to Reuters. Major General YaronFinkelman, Commander of the IDF Southern Command, said December 5, with many skirmishes, was "the most tense day since the start of the ground campaign" in Gaza at the end of October.
The focus of the Hamas-Israel conflict is shifting to southern Gaza after intense fighting and bombardment left much of the enclave's north in ruins and forced nearly 2 million people to flee their homes. "We have captured many strongholds of Hamas in the north of the Gaza Strip and now we are operating against their strongholds in the south," IDF Commander-in-Chief HerziHalevi emphasized.
Many US officials predict Israel may end large-scale military operations in southern Gaza by January 2024, then conduct more targeted attacks on Hamas members and leaders. according to CNN. They said the White House is concerned about how the IDF offensive will play out in the coming weeks and has warned Israel to limit damage and civilian casualties.
A Lebanese soldier died because of Israel
While the Hamas-Israel conflict continued, the Lebanese army announced that one soldier was killed and three were injured due to an Israeli attack on a military post near Lebanon's southern border in December 5. This is the first Lebanese soldier to die since border fighting between Israel and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon increased after the outbreak of the Hamas-Israel conflict, according to AFP.
The Israeli military acknowledged the attack that killed Lebanese soldiers, saying it targeted a Hezbollah position. The Israeli military affirmed that "the Lebanese Armed Forces were not the target of the attack", and said they regretted the incident.
In addition, the Lebanese National News Agency (NNA) late on December 5 reported that Israel had shelled and airstrikes in southern Lebanon, killing a farmer, while Hezbollah announced an attack on Israeli positions. Since October, more than 110 people have been killed in southern Lebanon, mainly Hezbollah members, according to AFP. Israel said 6 of its soldiers and 3 Israeli civilians were killed.
Source: ThanhNien Newspaper