Photo Credit: IDF
IDF reserve troops in Gaza

For the first time since the First Lebanon War, an entire IDF reserve division, the 252nd, is operating in Gaza.

The 252nd Division (the Sinai Division) has been fighting in the northern Gaza Strip since last Saturday, and consists of four infantry brigades (Givati and Paratrooper reserve units) and a reserve armored brigade.

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Over the past days the division’s forces have secured the area of Beit Hanoun through an operation of eliminating terrorists, and demolishing the terror tunnels and military infrastructure of the Hamas terror organization.

Since the beginning of the ground operation, the division’s forces have eliminated hundreds of terrorists, including senior Hamas terrorist operatives, in the Beit Hanoun and Jabaliya areas.

Amongst the terrorists eliminated was the Beit Hanoun Battalion Commander, with the assistance of the Air Force.

The forces destroyed Hamas terror compounds which included fighting positions connected to the tunnel system and leading to headquarters, which are positioned under the civilian population.

The fighting effort on the ground is supported by artillery strikes from the 454th Artillery Brigade. Directed by the ground forces and precise intelligence, the brigade destroyed approximately 300 targets this week, including underground targets, observation positions and anti-tank positions.

The division’s forces have been part of the fighting and have operating since Saturday, October 7th, carrying out rescue and defensive missions of communities and key axes.

“This is a defining moment for the division and for the entire reserve array in which a reserve division maneuvers alongside the regular divisions and proves the strength and quality of the IDF, in both regular and reserve service” Commanding Officer of the 252nd Division, BG Moran Omer said.

“We have been preparing for this for years, it is our duty to now restore peace and security to our civilians. Our reservists and their families are the expression of our unity, of being willing to defend our people as much as necessary, and of getting only one result – determined in every encounter with the enemy – until victory,” he said.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.