Israeli Defense Forces released footage of K9 units clearing houses in Gaza and uncovering Hamas weapons stashes on Monday.
The IDF detailed two instances in which it says IDF K9s “neutralized” a Hamas terrorist lying in ambush for Israeli troops. Israel says it regularly uses dogs with the Oketz Unit to scope out buildings before a larger raid by Israeli forces.
“During a joint operation with 460th Brigade in the Jabalia area, a dog named Patrick scanned the location before the forces entered the building. During the scan, Patrick detected a terrorist prepared to ambush the forces at the entrance and neutralized him, thus preventing an escalation,” the IDF wrote.
“In another operation in the Rimal area, during a scan by a dog named Toy, a corridor was found connecting the building where the soldiers were located to another building where a terrorist was lying in ambush. Toy neutralized the terrorist, thus saving the force from operating in a dangerous building,” the IDF added.
The release comes just hours after reports that Israel plans to withdraw some troops from Gaza as the war against Hamas enters a new phase. Reuters reports that the IDF is turning to more targeted operations against the terrorist organization, relying less on artillery and airstrikes.
President Biden’s administration had urged Israel to do just that in early December. Nevertheless, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the war is expected to go on for many more months.
The Israeli withdrawal consists of mostly reservists, who will now return to their jobs to help stimulate the economy.
While Israeli forces have taken control of virtually all the territory within Gaza, Hamas resistance remains thanks to the terrorist organization’s labyrinth of tunnels underneath the region.
Israel’s top targets, such as Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, are believed to be hiding in the tunnels underneath southern Gaza.