Hamas claims it destroyed 23 Israeli tanks in Khan Younis

Group's Ezzedine Al Qassam Brigades says it killed or wounded six soldiers

Israeli army tanks in southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip. AFP
Powered by automated translation

Live updates: Follow the latest news on Israel-Gaza

Hamas said that it destroyed or damaged 23 Israeli military vehicles in Khan Younis and Beit Lahia in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday during intense night fighting with Israeli forces.

The group said snipers from its armed wing, the Ezzedine Al Qassam Brigades, killed or wounded six soldiers and blew up a house where an Israeli force was barricaded, using a barrel bomb.

Al Qassam fighters also targeted another force barricaded in another house and fired rockets at several targets, it said on its Messenger channel.

The Israeli military claimed their troops broke through the Hamas defences in the southern city of Khan Younis, encircled the city and are pushing deep into the territory.

Army spokesman Admiral Daniel Hagari said the military has also broken through Hamas's defences in northern Gaza's Shejaiya and Jabaliya, the Israeli media reported.

"In the last 48 hours, in Jabaliya, Shejaiya and Khan Younis, we breached the defence lines. The terrorists are coming out from underground and fighting our forces. And our forces are winning in close-quarters combat, they have the upper hand," Admiral Hagari said.

As Israel continues its constant bombardment of Gaza, the UN Secretary General warned on Wednesday that he expects public order to "completely break down soon ... rendering even limited humanitarian assistance impossible”.

On Wednesday, the UAE's Mission to the UN called on the UN Security Council to urgently adopt a draft humanitarian ceasefire resolution as the situation in war-torn Gaza is "close to irreversible".

"We cannot wait. The council needs to act decisively to demand a humanitarian ceasefire," it said on X, formerly Twitter.

Even as international pressure mounts on Israel for a ceasefire, the future of postwar Gaza remains unclear.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Palestinian Authority assuming power in Gaza will not happen as long as he is in the role.

He said on Wednesday that Israeli forces had surrounded the Gaza home of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.

“It's only a matter of time before we get him,” Mr Netanyahu said.

Updated: December 07, 2023, 8:05 AM