Israel Launches Second Ground Incursion into Gaza, Hamas Commander Killed in Airstrike
Israel initiated a second brief ground incursion into Gaza overnight on Thursday, utilizing ground troops supported by fighter jets and drones as the ongoing conflict against Hamas persists. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) targeted anti-tank missile launch sites, command and control centers, and Hamas operatives in this operation. These ground incursions precede an anticipated full-scale invasion of Gaza, in a war that has already claimed the lives of over 8,000 individuals on both sides.
Israel has now entered the third week of a conflict with Hamas, which began after the terrorist group infiltrated the country on October 7, launching thousands of rockets at residential areas and causing civilian casualties.
The death toll in this war has reached as high as 8,400 people on both sides, including approximately 1,400 Israeli civilians and soldiers, and 33 Americans. The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry reports that more than 7,000 Palestinians in Gaza, including 2,913 minors, have lost their lives. There are concerns about the well-being of at least 10 Americans who may be among the 229 individuals held captive by Hamas.
Israel remains prepared for a potential ground invasion of Gaza, although the official order for such an operation has not yet been issued. There are also threats from Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah in Lebanon, to join the conflict.
The Israel Defense Forces announced on Friday that they are expanding their ground operations in Gaza, with aerial attacks targeting Hamas tunnels and other objectives.
Mobile communication systems inside Gaza have suffered a complete collapse, making civilian communications virtually impossible. Internet service in the Gaza Strip has been disrupted due to Israeli bombardment, according to a Palestinian telecom provider.
In recent days, Israel has conducted brief ground incursions involving troops and tanks, signaling preparations for a full-scale invasion aimed at eradicating Hamas. Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, stated that it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” Israel will launch a ground operation to eliminate Hamas.
The Israel Defense Forces have reported that they struck Hamas targets with the involvement of ground troops, fighter jets, and unmanned aerial vehicles in the past 24 hours. No injuries were reported by the Israeli military, and the troops swiftly exited the area.
The targets hit by the IDF included anti-tank missile launch sites, command and control centers, and Hamas operatives, as detailed by the army.
The brief ground incursion overnight on Thursday primarily affected the Shuja’iyya neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip. This marked the second consecutive night of such operations, indicating the impending full-scale invasion.
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