IDF in Gaza
IDF in GazaIDF

The 162nd Division has been fighting in the Rafah area for about a month. It has achieved operational control on the Philadelphi Route and is fighting against Hamas strongholds in the Shabora and Tel Sultan neighborhoods.

The IDF claims to have launched a diversionary attack on the southern region of the city that succeeded in drawing Hamas forces away from the main objective of the Philadelphi route in the northern region of the city.

After intense fighting last week, the IDF has achieved operational control in the NPK neighborhood and is operating above and below ground. The NPK neighborhood is defined by the IDF as a 'Hamas stronghold' in Rafah. Many weapons were found in the neighborhood: explosive vests, weapons, RPG launchers, and lathes for producing mortars.

Since the beginning of the fighting in the area, hundreds of terrorists have been killed, and hundreds of underground shafts and about twenty-five tunnel paths have been identified. The IDF continues to operate in the area and pursue the mission of defeating Hamas's Rafah Brigade.

According to the IDF, Israel has operational control over approximately 60-70 percent of Rafah, with two Hamas battalions nearing defeat and two others more moderately reduced. The 401st armored Brigade, Commando Brigade, and Nahal Brigade are also participating in the offensive.

The IDF managed to reach locations where hostages were held in Gaza and succeeded in gathering intelligence from complexes where they were held by terrorists. The IDF estimates that with the beginning of the ground maneuver, hostages were moved by their captors from Rafah to other areas in the Gaza Strip.

The IDF estimates that it will take a few weeks to decisively defeat the Rafah brigades and complete the IDF's control of Gaza. So far, the 162nd Division has killed approximately 550 terrorists in Rafah, over 40 days of fighting.

During the operations, more than 200 shafts and 35 tunnel paths were identified, some with long tunnels reaching Egypt. It is estimated they are smuggling tunnels crossing into Egypt. Rafah is referred to in the defense establishment as 'the mother of all tunnels,' and for the first time, IDF soldiers fought both above and below ground simultaneously.

The IDF says that the division's action at the beginning of the attack surprised the enemy and prevented it from mining the Philadelphi Route, allowing Israeli forces to advance faster.