Israel targets Hamas training camp on outskirts of Rafah, increases attacks in northern Gaza

May 15, 2024 by No Comments

Israeli forces ramped up operations in both northern Gaza and the eastern outskirts of Rafah, targeting Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure and a training camp. The IDF operations involved airstrikes on around 80 terrorist targets, “including military compounds, weapons storage facilities, missile launchers, observation posts, and additional terrorist infrastructure,” Israel said. The operations in saw Israeli soldiers engage in close combat with Hamas terrorists at one of the group’s training grounds. IDF soldiers there recovered a trove of Israeli military equipment and vehicles, which Hamas had used to simulate fighting against Israeli forces. Images from the training ground show that Hamas had even acquired an Israeli Merkava main battle tank. The IDF operations in northern Gaza targeted terrorist cells in the Jabaliya refugee camp, including airstrikes on one cell that had fired rockets onto the Israeli city of Sderot on Tuesday. The operations come as Israel tests the limits of President Biden’s demand that Israeli forces not conduct an invasion of Rafah. that the U.S. would withhold weapons shipments to Israel if it moved forward with a full-scale operation in the city. Rafah plays host to roughly 1.5 million displaced Palestinians, most of whom fled northern Gaza. Israel, however, says the city is also the final major stronghold for Hamas in the region. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that an invasion of Rafah will take place at some point. He has yet to publicly address Biden’s red line on the issue. Biden’s administration offered to share with Israel in exchange for restraint in Rafah earlier this week, according to a Washington Post report. The intelligence the U.S. offered reportedly would allow Israel to better pinpoint Hamas leaders hidden in tunnels around the city, making it possible for the Israeli military to engage in a more precise campaign that could avoid the devastation seen in other areas of Gaza throughout the conflict.