Gaza War At 200 Days: IDF Pivots From Iran Threat Back To Hamas Operations

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024 - 12:55 PM

Monday into Tuesday saw the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) intensify its operations in central and northern Gaza, following a cooling of tensions with Iran after the two almost went to war. Tuesday marks the 200th day of Israel's war in Gaza, in response to the Oct.7 Hamas terror attacks.

"Israel bombarded northern Gaza overnight in some of the heaviest shelling in weeks, panicking residents and flattening neighborhoods in an area where the Israeli army had previously drawn down its troops, residents said on Tuesday," Reuters reports.

Image via United Nations

This strongly suggests that even once the IDF has cleared an area, Hamas has the capability of moving back in - also given its capabilities utilizing Gaza's vast tunnel network.

"Tanks made a new incursion east of Beit Hanoun on the northern edge of the Gaza Strip, though they did not penetrate far into the city, residents and Hamas media said. Gunfire reached some schools where displaced residents were sheltering," Reuters continues.

Starting Sunday night, the IDF launched a 'surprise operation' in the central Gaza corridor, the military confirmed, happening over the Passover holiday

The IDF says the “surprise operation” that began Sunday night is aimed at “deepening the achievements” in the Netzarim corridor.

The corridor, built around a road south of Gaza City, enables the IDF to carry out raids in northern and central Gaza while allowing Israel to control access to the north for Palestinians seeking to return after fleeing south.

"The forces are carrying out targeted raids and are thwarting terror in the area," the IDF says in a statement.

The IDF confirmed the return of Hamas militants to areas which had previously been clear enough to halt operations. 

"Nahal troops spotted several gunmen amid the raid, and called in airstrikes by fighter jets against them and the buildings they were spotted operating at," an IDF statement continued.

As for Rafah in the south, so far it seems the IDF's planned offensive appears to be on pause. An estimated 1.5 million civilians are sheltering in the city, and the White House has urged the Netanyahu government not to attack it. Humanitarian aid groups currently say they don't know what to expect.

The US has urged that Israel evacuate civilians first, but these plans are anything but clear at this point. "I have no idea what the plan with the procurement of tents by the Israelis is," the head of the UN humanitarian office in Gaza, Andrea de Domenico, told Al Jazeera. Recent days have seen dozens of casualties due to shelling of some areas, but a full assault is expected to be a humanitarian nightmare for the refugees there.