Israel-Gaza war, Rafah

Is the IDF's operation in Rafah coming to an end?

IDF Chief Says major progress has been made in destroying Hamas' Rafah Brigade. "We have a very high record in the Rafah battles, and I tell you, I appreciate that very much," Halevi said.

IDF chief of staff Herzi Halevi (Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Army is close to defeating Hamas' Rafah Brigade, IDF chief says. The IDF Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi said that the army is getting closer to defeating the Rafah Brigade of Hamas.

"We have made very important achievements in the Rafah battles," Halevi said yesterday during a visit to the city in the southern Gaza Strip, in comments now published."You can see it in the number of terrorists killed and the destroyed infrastructure [and] tunnels," he said.

I24 news reports Halevi said that the IDF's control of the so-called Philadelphia route on the Gaza-Egypt border is "very, very important." He said it would close Hamas' "oxygen pipeline for future smuggling." "We are clearly approaching the point where [we can] say that we have dismantled the Rafah Brigade. It is not defeated in the sense that there are no more terrorists in it, but in the sense that it can no longer function as a fighting force," he said.

Halevi said that "many" Rafah Brigade operatives had been killed and told the troops that "you will take care to kill as many terrorists as possible and destroy as much infrastructure as possible until the end of the mission."

Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Major General Hartzi Halevi announced significant achievements in the ongoing military operations in Rafah, Gaza. At a situation review last night (Sunday) attended by senior military commanders, including Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Command Yaron Finkelman and Commander of the 162 division, Lieutenant Colonel Itzik Cohen, Halev expressed strong optimism about the progress made against the Rafah Brigade.

He emphasized the number of terrorists killed, the destruction of infrastructure and the extensive mapping and destruction of underground tunnels. "The fact that the 162nd division now controls the Philadelphia axis from the sea to the border triangle is very important to close the Hamas oxygen pipeline for future smuggling, and we are currently dealing with underground assets."

Halevi noted the approaching critical point in the operation: "We are clearly approaching the point where we say we have dismantled the Rafah Brigade. It is not decisive in the sense that there are no more terrorists in it, but in the sense that it cannot function as a combat unit, it has a lot of casualties."

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