Israel expands war to all of Gaza, enlists largest infantry brigade for growing ground offensive


Israel has deployed its troops into southern Gaza, stating that the war will now cover the entire Palestinian enclave and include for the first time its largest infantry brigade for the growing ground offensive.

After destroying several of Hamas’ headquarter stations across northern Gaza, Israeli troops and tanks were spotted Monday in the enclave’s southern half, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been evacuated to.

Humanitarian groups said they have run out of advice for the refugees fleeing the violence — which started when the Palestinian terror group launched a surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,200 people, mainly civilians, and taking dozens more hostage.

“We have nothing to tell them,” Thomas White, director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, said of the refugees, noting that some of Israel’s retaliatory strikes are occurring in Khan Younis and Rafah, where nearly one million people have run to.

Israel resumed its relentless airstrike campaign in Gaza over the weekend after a seven-day cease-fire. AFP via Getty Images
Israel has now expanded operations into southern Gaza as it deploys its specially trained Kfir Brigade for the first time. IDF/GPO/SIPA/Shutterstock

Israeli officials have said they are doing their best to limit civilian casualties as they aim to solely target Hamas, which has been known to hide everywhere from hospitals to kindergartens to try to dodge the enemy while vowing to destroy Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces said Monday that the Salah a-Din axis — about 3 miles north of Khan Younis and one of the central routes to the city — now “constitutes a battlefield.”

The IDF warned fleeing Palestinians to avoid the axis.

“The Israel Defense Forces will soon launch a heavy attack in your area with the aim of destroying Hamas,” the IDF said in leaflets it dropped on the area.

“Stay in the currently known shelters until the fighting in the area ends. These are the last hours to evacuate, don’t wait until it becomes impossible,” it added.

The Kfir Brigade is trained to fight Palestinian terrorists and has uncovered 30 Hamas tunnels itself. IDF/GPO/SIPA/Shutterstock
Palestinians who fled to Khan Younis are now evacuating the shelters as the war spreads to the south. AFP via Getty Images

With operations expanding to all of Gaza, the IDF has now deployed the Kfir Brigade, its largest infantry unit specializing in urban and guerilla warfare, the Times of Israel reported.

The brigade, formed after the 2005 terrorist attack in Judea and Samaria, is tailor-made to fight Hamas terrorists in the ruined streets of Gaza.

Maj. Gen. Yaniv Barot, the commander of the brigade, said it was the first time the unit has been called to battle since it was established and that it has already uncovered more than 30 Hamas tunnel shafts and directed 100 artillery strikes in Gaza.

As Israel strengthens its military power, the Biden administration has been in talks with the Jewish state to prioritize the safety of the Palestinian civilians who fled south during Israel’s recent seven-day cease-fire with Hamas.

The IDF has warned those in Khan Younis to flee because of an impending “heavy attack.” AFP via Getty Images
Civilians rush further south, with one family using a camel and donkey to carry their belongings. AFP via Getty Images

Biden told Israel that it cannot use the same airstrikes in the south that it has employed in the north because they would result in greater mass casualties and destruction than what has already been seen, CNN said.

Israeli bombardments have damaged or destroyed an estimated 40% to 50% of all structures in the enclave’s northern half, according to a satellite analysis by researchers at the CUNY Graduate Center and Oregon State University.

The war has so far claimed the lives of more than 14,800 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-linked Gaza Ministry of Health.

Wounded Palestinian children are being treated at the Nasser hospital in Khan Younis. REUTERS
Palestinians salvage their belongings after a shelling in Deir al Balah on Monday. AP

Mirjana Spoljaric, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, echoed calls to protect civilians after arriving in Gaza on Monday to witness the impacts of the war.

“I repeat our urgent call for civilians to be protected in line with the laws of war and for aid to enter unimpeded,” Spoljaric wrote on X.

Spoljaric also called on Hamas to free the estimated 137 hostages it still holds in Gaza in order for the Red Cross to treat them.

As the Israeli army advances, Hamas continues to fire rockets at Israel. AFP via Getty Images

As Israel’s war cabinet is set to convene Monday, Israeli leaders continue to reiterate that the war will not end until Hamas is completely destroyed.

Ronen Bar, the head of Israel’s domestic security agency Shin Bet, said his nation would hunt down any and all Hamas members across the Middle East.

In every place, in Gaza, in the West Bank, in Lebanon, in Turkey, in Qatar, everywhere,” Bar said Sunday on Israel’s public broadcaster Kan. ““It’ll take a few years, but we will be there to do it.”

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