Israel army reports fiercest resistance in Gaza's Jabalia since October

AFP , Ahram Online , Friday 17 May 2024

The Israeli occupation army told AFP on Friday that renewed resistance in Gaza's northern town of Jabalia was "perhaps the fiercest" in over seven months of its genocidal war.

Israeli soldiers during military operations in the Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza.
Israeli soldiers during military operations in the Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza. AFP

 

The army had said in early January that it had "completed the dismantling of Hamas's military framework in the northern Gaza Strip" and said it would focus its war on central and southern areas of the occupied Palestinian territory.

But intense fighting resumed less than a week ago in Jabalia, the second-most populous town in northern Gaza.

"Hamas was in complete control here in Jabalia until we arrived a few days ago," the Israeli army told AFP on Friday, four months after its spokesman Daniel Hagari claimed that resistance members were operating in the area only sporadically and "without commanders".

The current fighting in Jabalia is "perhaps the fiercest we have encountered" in this area since the start of the war on the Gaza Strip, the army said, adding that it was now operating in the town's refugee camp.

Before the war, Jabalia was home to the largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, with more than 100,000 Palestinians packed into 1.4 square kilometres (0.5 square miles), according to the UN.

The occupation army claimed it had killed around 200 resistance fighters since the resumption of its attack on Jabalia on Sunday.

Images provided by the Israeli army showed soldiers moving through a maze of heavily damaged and deserted buildings.

The Israeli army has continued its bombardment of the camp since the early hours of Friday morning, destroying numerous residential buildings.

Palestinian civil defense crew members on the ground have reported that within the past 24 hours, they have recovered 93 bodies from the streets and alleyways of the Jabalia refugee camp.

They also said that there are more bodies in areas they are currently unable to reach due to the ongoing bombardment.

According to Al Jazeera, the occupation forces are not only causing significant damage to public facilities and the remaining residential homes where they are stationed, but they are also setting these locations on fire as they move from one place to another.

The Israeli army is rendering the northern part of Gaza, including Gaza City, uninhabitable by eliminating all social services and pushing people into further displacement and eventual expulsion from the Gaza Strip, the channel reported.

Intense fighting, accompanied by shelling, also resumed at the beginning of May in the Zeitun neighbourhood in the southwest of Gaza City, also in the north of the Palestinian territory.

Until recently, Israel claimed that the last four Hamas battalions were operating in Gaza's far-southern city of Rafah, on the Egyptian border.

On May 7, the Israeli army sent tanks and troops into eastern Rafah.

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