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Explainer: How did Hamas fighters ambush, kill, capture Israeli forces in Jabalia?

By Ivan Kesic

Demonstrating its military prowess, the armed wing of the Palestinian resistance group Hamas again surprised the Israeli occupation with a sophisticated and well-coordinated operation.

The Izzat al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, named after Syrian freedom fighter Ezzedine al-Qassam, has been on a daily basis carrying out military operations against the Israeli occupation forces since October 7, when it carried out the heroic Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the illegitimate Zionist entity.

On Saturday, the spokesman of the Hamas’ military wing, Abu Obeide, revealed that the group had carried out a successful ambush in Jabalia, a city in the northern Gaza Strip, killing, wounding and capturing an unknown number of regime soldiers.

Abu Obeida, the masked spokesman of the Hamas’ military wing who has become a household name since October 7, described the ambush as a "complex operation" and announced many details.

Where did the ambush take place?

According to Abu Obeida, the ambush took place on Saturday afternoon in the al-Qasaaseeb neighborhood of the Jabalia refugee camp, located in the north of the city in the northern Gaza Strip.

The city of Jabalia is located three kilometers northeast of the center of Gaza City and has been one of the key flashpoints in Palestinian resistance operations against the Israeli occupation.

Before the start of the Israeli genocidal war on the besieged territory, this city had almost 200,000 inhabitants, and one-third of them lived in the Jabalia refugee camp, the largest of the coastal Palestinian territory’s eight refugee camps.

Since October 7, 2023, Jabalia has been under constant attack by the occupying forces, who left the area in early February 2024, leaving behind a trail of death and destruction.

On 12 May 2024, Israeli forces attacked Jabalia and the refugee camp again from the air and the land, causing mass displacement of Palestinians who remained there towards other areas.

How was the operation performed?

Abu Obeida said the Israeli regime deploys thousands of soldiers in the alleys of Jabalia and elsewhere, “searching for corpses, sacrificing their soldiers for Netanyahu’s personal plots and the interests of his extremist, fascist government."

According to him, the complex operation was carried out by Palestinian fighters who "lured a Zionist force” into one of the tunnels in the Jabalia refugee camp, trapping them in an ambush inside and at the entrance of this tunnel.

The Al-Qassam fighters, the spokesman said, were able to tackle the regime forces at point-blank range, after which the resistance fighters attacked the Israeli reinforcement and rushed to the scene with explosive devices, hitting the occupying forces directly.

"Our fighters then withdrew after detonating the tunnel used in this operation, after causing all members of this (Israeli) force to be killed, injured, or captured, and seizing their military equipment," Abu Obeida elaborated in his widely circulating speech.

He also promised that the resistance group would continue to make the enemy pay the price, and confront the aggression in every street, neighborhood, city, and camp in the Gaza Strip Strip, from Beit Hanoun to Rafah, promising to reveal new details of these operations at the appropriate time.

What are Abu Obeida's other messages?

In his message to resistance fighters, the Palestinian nation and the free people of the world, Abu Obeida referred to the general situation in the occupied territories.

"The enemy government and its oppressive army persist in their blind, reckless policy of revenge and destruction, moving from one failure to another, seeking illusory achievements to market their massacres and military pressure against our people as victories or accomplishments," he said.

However, he added, the “great and heroic” fighters of the Palestinian resistance “continue to teach the occupation lessons on all fronts” by “relying on Allah and holding firmly to His strong rope” in order to “defend their land against the wicked, barbaric and vile enemy.”

"The latest chapter of Zionist failure and confusion has led to the horrific crimes committed by the enemy forces, which continue to this hour, in Jabalia, Rafah, and other parts of our beloved land," Abu Obeida said in his recorded speech.

"The occupation forces sift through piles of rubble searching for the remains of some of their captives whom they deliberately bombed earlier, and then markets the extraction of remains as a military and moral achievement," he hastened to add.

The Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman said their fighters have been and continue to be vigilant against the enemy forces carrying out a string of military operations in Jabalia, Rafah, Beit Hanoun and other areas, despite the regime’s genocidal war against Palestinians.

On the same day, Al-Qassam Brigades announced that they targeted three Israeli Merkava-4 tanks in two separate encounters in Jabalia city.

The group further said its fighters also detonated another Israeli military tank with a Shawaz device in the al-Qasaaseeb neighborhood of the Jabalia refugee camp.

What are the reactions?

People in the occupied West Bank and Lebanon took to the streets to celebrate the operation conducted by the Al-Qassam Brigades against Israeli forces in the northern Gaza Strip.

The celebrations took place on Sunday in the Palestinian city of Dura in the southern occupied West Bank, as well as the refugee camps of Ain al-Hilweh, Nahr el-Bared, el-Buss and Rashidieh in Lebanon, according to reports.

Yemen's Ansarallah Political Bureau also issued a statement, lauding the Al-Qassam Brigades’ operation.

"We commend and bless the heroic jihadist operation carried out by the al-Qassam Brigades against the Zionist enemy,” it said in a statement published early on Sunday.

"You have raised the nation's head high with your jihad and bravery, and you have amazed the entire world with your patience, steadfastness, and victories.”

"This operation is one of the heroic operations that devastates the "Israeli" enemy and inflicts heavy losses upon them, and these operations come within the context of the natural and legitimate right to respond to the genocidal massacres in the Gaza Strip.”

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