MOSCOW, Jan. 30 (Sputnik) - The Israeli military killed more than 2,000 Palestinian fighters during an operation in the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman RDML Daniel Hagari said on Monday.

The Israeli military claims that about 9,000 Hamas fighters were eliminated in the three months since the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip. Various estimates put the total number of Hamas troops between 30,000 and 40,000.

On October 7, 2023, the Gaza Strip-controlling Hamas movement launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel and breached the border. As a result, over 1,200 people in Israel were killed and some 240 others abducted. Israel launched retaliatory strikes, ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, and started a ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages. Over 26,600 people have been killed so far in the Gaza Strip, local authorities said.

On November 24, Qatar mediated a deal between Israel and Hamas on a temporary truce and the exchange of some of the prisoners and hostages, as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. The ceasefire was extended several times and expired on December 1. More than 100 hostages are still believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza.