The Gaza Strip

The ongoing fighting in the Gaza Strip has seen intensified efforts by the Axis of Resistance, primarily aimed at undermining the Israeli political will and the morale and resources of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Their strategy includes targeting the IDF’s capabilities near Gaza and challenging Israel’s military operations.

Significant developments include the IDF’s advance to the al Shifa Hospital’s vicinity amid concerns over Hamas’ alleged use of the hospital for military purposes. Despite Israeli forces reaching the hospital’s gates, they have not entered the building. Nearby, the al Quds Brigades, linked to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, have engaged in combat with Israeli forces.

ISW Gaza Map
Graphics used with permission from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Fuel supply issues have further complicated the situation at al Shifa Hospital. Hamas reportedly refused to accept fuel from Israeli forces intended for the hospital. The IDF left fuel nearby, but Hamas allegedly prevented hospital staff from retrieving it. Claims suggest Hamas might be using this fuel for its operations.

Israeli forces have expanded their operations in other parts of Gaza. In the al Nasr neighborhood, they have conducted arrests and raids, targeting Hamas infrastructure embedded within civilian areas. This includes schools and mosques, indicating the challenges of urban warfare in densely populated areas.

Further south, in the al Quds Hospital area, the IDF engaged with Palestinian militia fighters. The IDF has accused Hamas of exploiting sensitive sites, including hospitals, for military purposes. This has been a recurrent theme in Israeli narratives about the conflict.

Indirect fire attacks on IDF positions have been a key tactic of Palestinian militias. Groups like the al-Qassem Brigades and the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades have taken responsibility for these attacks, primarily using mortars and rockets. These attacks are often in response to Israeli military actions in Gaza.

Israeli clearing operations in Beit Hanoun, targeting Palestinian Islamic Jihad members and infrastructure, have led to the discovery of weapons and tunnels. These operations are part of a broader IDF strategy to dismantle Hamas’ military capabilities in the region, which includes targeting its leaders and infrastructure.

Overall, the situation in Gaza remains complex, with both sides engaging in intense military activities amid a challenging urban environment and significant humanitarian concerns.