Tel Aviv, January 23: Dozens of Hamas terrorists were killed in the past 24 hours as the Israeli ground forces encircled Khan Yunis, the Israel Defense Forces said on Tuesday. Khan Yunis is Gaza's second largest city and is regarded as a personal stronghold of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, whose family lives there. Over the past day, IDF ground troops engaged in close-quarters combat, directed air strikes, and used intelligence to coordinate fire, resulting in the elimination of dozens of terrorists.

The IDF targeted terrorist cells carrying RPGs near the troops, those launching anti-tank missiles, and terror operatives who had rigged compounds with explosives. Ready-to-launch rockets, military compounds, shafts, and numerous weapons were located during the activity. Meanwhile, the IDF is probing the death of 21 soldiers on Monday when a blast ripped through a Gaza compound being prepared for demolition. The building collapsed on the soldiers. Israel-Palestine Conflict: Time To Negotiate With Hamas on Hostage Exchange, Says Israeli Major General Noam Tibon

The blast was caused when a Palestinian terror squad fired an anti-tank missile at the adjoining homes in the complex. The explosives being used by the Israeli forces to demolish the compound detonated and the two buildings collapsed. The soldiers were from a reserve battalion tasked with destroying structures allowing Hamas to observe and fire on Israeli forces.

The compound was located in the area of Al Moazi, about 600 meters from the Israeli border. "As far as we know, at around 4 p.m., an RPG was fired by terrorists at a tank securing the forces, and simultaneously, an explosion occurred at two two-story buildings. The buildings collapsed due to this explosion, while most of the forces were inside and near them," said IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari. Israel-Hamas Conflict: Palestinian Death Toll in Gaza Soars Past 25,000 With No End to War in Sight

Simultaneously, another Palestinian terrorist emerged who emerged from a tunnel shaft undetected fired a rocket propelled grenade at a tank that was securing the compound. At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas's attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Oct. 7. The number of men, women, children, soldiers and foreigners held captive in Gaza by Hamas is now believed to be 136. Other people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains.

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