Sunday, the 16th of the war, witnessed the first direct military confrontation between an Israeli force and members of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), inside the Gaza Strip.

In its account of what happened, the Qassam Brigades said that it had ambushed an Israeli armored force east of Khan Yunis (southern Gaza Strip) after crossing the separation fence for several meters.

The brigades added – in a statement – that its mujahideen coalesced with the infiltrating force, destroyed two bulldozers and a tank, forced the enemy to withdraw, and returned to their bases safely.

"Our mujahideen confirmed that the soldiers of the Israeli force that was ambushed in Khan Yunis left their vehicles and fled east of the separation fence on foot," she said.

On the other hand, the Israeli occupation army said that gunmen opened fire at an army force west of the border fence of the Gaza Strip in the Kissufim area.

He added that an Israeli tank attacked the group, which fired on the soldiers in Kissufim.

Later, the Israeli army announced the killing of one of its soldiers – on Sunday – by an anti-tank missile during an incursion into the Gaza Strip, noting that "one soldier was killed, another was moderately wounded and two were lightly wounded as a result of the launch of an anti-tank missile towards an Israeli army tank and engineering vehicle."


Al Jazeera's bureau chief in Palestine said the incident occurred near Kissufim (a kibbutz in the Eshkol complex area one kilometer from the border) and east of Khan Younis, two kilometers from the border.

He pointed out that an Israeli armored force, which was west of the border fence inside the Gaza Strip, was spotted by al-Qassam and initially fired a shell at it, and it was not immediately clear whether it was a mortar shell or a Kornet, and achieved a direct hit.

Then a clash took place between the two parties, after an Israeli tank fired on the attackers, and Israeli sources initially talked about 4 wounded, one of them in critical condition, and they were transferred to Soroka Hospital, in the city of Beersheba (south) for treatment.

Al-Omari said that what this clash, which took place in a very small area, indicates that there was careful monitoring by the resistance of Israeli movements.

Search for documents

For his part, Al Jazeera correspondent Elias Karam spoke about some details of the operation, saying that a force belonging to the Israeli engineering corps breached the border fence with Gaza in search of documents that may indicate the status of prisoners or detainees held by the resistance factions in Gaza.

He said that there were a few hundred meters inside the Strip that Israeli forces were trying to search for in order to find this evidence, which is of great importance to Israel at this stage.

He pointed out that there are those who say that this area (very small) still has some bodies as a result of the large attack on the seventh of October, and some probabilities indicate that it may also still have traces of some of the kidnapped or detained by the resistance factions.

In the early days, he said, Israel had detected similar incursions, but this time the resistance was able to detect that the Israeli force had crossed the border fence.

Operation Wild

The operation, the first clash between the resistance and Israeli forces inside Gaza during the ongoing war, came as Israeli forces prepare for a ground operation in the besieged enclave.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant said: "This must be the last war in Gaza. For the simple reason that there will be no more Hamas," he said, noting that "it will take a month, two months, three months and at the end there will be no Hamas."

Political and military analysts have agreed that the Israeli army is no longer what it used to be, and has lost many of its military skills after facing resistance factions rather than symmetrical armies.

The Hebrew news site Walla quoted Israeli military sources as saying that waiting for ground forces on the outskirts of Gaza has become very dangerous.