Israel-Gaza War

Channel 14 military correspondent: At least 5,000 Hamas terrorists in Rafah

Noam Amir, Channel 14's military correspondent, said in an interview on the operation that, "the first day was definitely good."

Gaza. (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Makor Rishon and Channel 14 military correspondent Noam Amir gave an interview today (Tuesday), addressing the ongoing operation in Rafah and noting Israel's assessment of the number of terrorists present there.

In the interview he said: "The situational picture in Rafah is that the IDF achieved control of the Rafah crossing. You might even be able to say complete control...the goal of the army is to seize control of the area, to conduct a lot of sweeps there because launches were carried out from that site, including those which led to the deaths of the soldiers at Kerem Shalom."

He continued: "the assessment is that we're entering an area which is supposed to have at least 5,000 terrorists. Many of them are likely no longer there; the question is where they have to run. You can't return to the north of the Strip, Khan Yunis is completely destroyed. They can hide either in the camps in the center (of the Strip) or in Rafah. There will probably be work to do there, we need to eliminate as many of them as possible. There are very many tunnels there, now the big question is regarding the hostages and Hamas leaders - are some of them are there."

"The operation which the IDF began yesterday night was meant to prevent the possibility that the Gazans will flee to Egypt," he said. "We've done maybe 10% of Rafah; right now it's the only place in Gaza where Hamas is successfully creating control. If after we take control, the Gazans don't succeed in fleeing towards Egypt, we can continue towards the North and maybe find hostages and Hamas leaders there. There is work to do, but the first day was definitely good. We need to expect a few more such days and then we can talk about an operation which will last less than 6-8 weeks."

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