The five key battlegrounds mapped as Israel forces clash with Hamas terrorists

More than three weeks into the new war between Israel and Hamas, the Israeli military continues to launch airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

The conflict, however, is taking place on several fronts, as Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops have entered northern Gaza with tanks and bulldozers.

Other areas in Israel and Palestinian territories are also involved in various clashes.

As other actors supporting Hamas have been involved in skirmishes with Israeli troops, it is feared new fronts may soon be opened and the war could turn into a regional conflict. has taken a look at the key battlegrounds as the war between Hamas and Israel is well into its 27th day.

READ MORE: Rocket fired from Lebanon lands in Israel, causing huge explosion

1. Israeli armoured unit advances along the Gazan coast

An Israeli armoured unit advanced south from north-western Gaza, the Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen news outlet reported.

The news outlet claimed the unit moved along the coast to Salah Khalaf Street and later attempted to move east towards al Nasr Street and al Toum Street.

The esteemed US think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported the commander of the 162nd Division of the IDF stated the country’s forces had reached “the gates of Gaza City”, a statement that possibly corroborated Al Mayadeen’s claims.

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2. Hamas clashes with IDF in Beit Hanoun

The militant wing of Hamas, the al Quassem Brigades, reportedly clashed with an IDF unit in a city in northern Gaza on November 1.

The skirmish – reported by Palestinian media – is said to have happened in Beit Hanoun, a city on the north-east edge of the Strip which, prior to the conflict, counted more than 50,000 residents.

During this clash, Hamas militants claimed to have destroyed at least four Israeli Merkava tanks and to have bombed a gathering of IDF soldiers near the city using a quadcopter drone.

3. Palestinian militias fire attacks into Israel

Palestinian militants from different groups appear to be working together as they claimed on November 1 to have launched into southern Israel a number of indirect fire attacks.

The ISW reported al Qassem Brigades alone claimed responsibility for eight indirect fire attacks on Israel, while the al Quds Brigades – the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group – said to have launched three more. Moreover, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades – linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – claimed to have launched mortars into southern Israel, the ISW said.

Both Hamas and Popular Front’s militants alleged to have targeted Nirim, a kibbutz near the border with Gaza, while other fighters from Hamas and the PIJ jointly alleged to have fired mortar attacks against the Erez crossing, which links northern Gaza to the Erez kibbutz.

Analysing this flurry of reports, the think tank said: “Multiple Palestinian militias appeared to conduct joint indirect fire attacks on locations in Israel, which would suggest greater coordination between these groups.”

4. Hezbollah militants conduct attacks into northern Israel

Since the beginning of the war, Hezbollah militants have taken part in skirmishes against IDF soldiers and military posts. On November 2, the Lebanese armed group claimed 47 of its fighters had so far lost their lives in these clashes, while the IDF said six of its soldiers had been killed.

Despite its losses, the Lebanese group was among the Iran-backed groups conducting more attacks into the Israeli territory on November 1.

The ISW said these six recent attacks were part of an “ongoing campaign targeting IDF radar and sensor sites and military targets”.

The clashes with Iran-backed Hezbollah, as well as rockets launched into Israel from Syria, have sparked fears the war between Hamas and Israel may turn into a regional war involving more countries and players.

5. Airstrikes on Gaza City

While IDF troops and armoured columns push into Gaza, the Israeli military continues with its campaign of airstrikes, started in the aftermath of Hamas’ terror attack on October 7.

Among the areas being particularly targeted by the air raids in recent days is Gaza City. On Wednesday, the IDF bombed the vicinity of the Al Quds hospital, where doctors said up to 14,000 displaced people are seeking refuge.

Israel also hit the Jabaliya refugee camp north of Gaza City, a strike which the IDF claimed killed dozens of Hamas militants including a key commander.

Dr Atef Al-Kahlot, the director of the hospital near the camp, said hundreds of people were left either wounded or killed by the strikes.

Over the past weeks, Israel has urged Palestinians to relocate southern of Wadi Gaza, but many have decided to stay in the northern part of the Strip either because they are unable to move or because they don’t think they will be safer in the south.

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