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The Israel Defense Forces confirmed Tuesday that it has gained operational control of the Gazan side of the Rafah Crossing.

The IDF released a statement saying its forces began a “precise counterterrorism operation” in eastern Rafah.

Acting upon intelligence showing the area was being used for “terrorist purposes,” IDF troops obtained operational control of the Gazan side of the Rafah Crossing, the statement said.

Intelligence gathered by the IDF and the Israel Securities Authority prompted the operation aimed at killing Hamas terrorists and dismantling “Hamas terrorist infrastructure within specific areas of eastern Rafah.”

ISRAEL BEGINS ‘TARGETED’ STRIKES AGAINST HAMAS IN RAFAH

Rafah Crossing

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed on Tuesday that its troops have operational control of the Gazan side of the Rafah Crossing. (IDF)

Before the operation, the IDF urged residents in eastern Rafah to temporarily evacuate to the expanded humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi, where the IDF facilitated the expansion of field hospitals and tents, and increased water, food and medical supplies. International organizations working in the area were also encouraged to temporarily evacuate before the operation began.

“Following intelligence that indicated that the Rafah Crossing in eastern Rafah was being used for terrorist purposes, IDF troops managed to establish operational control of the Gazan side of the crossing,” the IDF said. “On Sunday, mortars were fired from the area of the Rafah Crossing toward the area of the Kerem Shalom Crossing.”

Four IDF soldiers were killed during the operation and several others were injured after the mortars were fired.

ISRAEL URGES PALESTINIANS TO EVACUATE RAFAH AHEAD OF EXPECTED GROUND OPERATION IN HAMAS STRONGHOLD

Israeli forces entering the Rafah Crossing

The IDF said it began a “precise counterterrorism operation” in the eastern Rafah area. (IDF)

“Furthermore, as part of the operational activity, IDF ground troops and [Israeli Air Force] fighter jets struck and eliminated Hamas terror targets in the Rafah area, including military structures, underground infrastructure, and additional terrorist infrastructure from which Hamas operated in the Rafah area,” the IDF said.

Since the operation began, about 20 Hamas terrorists have been killed and three operational tunnel shafts have been found. No injuries were reported, the IDF said.

The IDF said ground troops are “continuing to operate against Hamas terrorist operatives and infrastructure in the area of the Rafah Crossing in eastern Rafah.”

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There is no timeline for how long the operation will last and it is unclear if the crossing is open for humanitarian aid.

Fox News’ Yonat Friling contributed to this report.

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