Report: Hamas Recruits New Terrorists and Attempts to Regain Control in Khan Yunis

By Yoni Weiss

Smoke rises after Israeli airstrikes in Khan Yunis, as seen from Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, May 6. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Hamas is attempting a resurgence in Khan Yunis and actively recruiting new terrorists, primarily adolescents around 18 years old, from both southern and northern Gaza.

Since the IDF withdrew from Khan Yunis on April 7, there has been a noticeable increase in Hamas activity. Army Radio reported that Hamas’s efforts in Khan Yunis might be crossing crucial thresholds.

The Gaza-based terror group is conducting new training camps for recruits to replenish its ranks, following significant losses: 14,000-16,000 terrorists killed, a similar number wounded, and around 4,000 arrested (some of whom may have been released).

Despite these losses, Hamas is believed to retain 5,000-10,000 pre-war terrorists. However, these forces have been operating in smaller, more dispersed cells rather than in organized battalions of thousands.

With the establishment of training camps and reinforcements, there is concern that Hamas could reconstitute its battalions in Khan Yunis. The number of new recruits over the past 10 weeks remains unknown.

Young recruits face a stark choice: joining Hamas, with the risk of being killed or wounded by the IDF, or remaining in refugee camps with no job prospects, as Gaza’s rebuilding has yet to begin.

The IDF has dismissed the notion that Hamas is close to reconstituting its battalions in Khan Yunis. Neither the IDF nor other defense sources have provided a timeline for a potential second invasion of Khan Yunis, similar to operations in northern Gaza areas like Shifa Hospital and Jabalia, where Hamas’s reorganization efforts were deemed to be advancing too far.

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