Published Oct 26, 2023 at 10:22 PM IST

Israeli Troops Enter Gaza

Israeli troops and tanks briefly raided northern Gaza overnight into Thursday, the military said, striking several militant targets in order to “prepare the battlefield” before a widely expected ground invasion after more than two weeks of devastating airstrikes.

The raid came after the U.N. warned that’s it’s on the verge of running out of fuel in the Gaza Strip, forcing it to sharply curtail relief efforts. Gaza has been under a brutal siege — running out of food, water and medicine — since Hamas’ bloody rampage across southern Israel earlier this month ignited the war.

The IDF said:
Overnight, the IDF conducted a targeted raid using tanks in the northern Gaza Strip, as part of preparations for the next stages of combat. The activity was commanded by the Givati Brigade.
During the activity, soldiers located and struck numerous terrorists, terror infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts, and operated to prepare the battlefield.
The soldiers exited the area at the end of the activity.

The rising death toll in Gaza is unprecedented in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Health Ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza said Thursday more than 7,000 Palestinians have died in the conflict, a figure that could not be independently verified. Even greater loss of life could come if Israel launches an ground offensive aimed at crushing Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007 and survived four previous wars with Israel.

The Israeli military says it only strikes militant targets and accuses Hamas of operating among civilians in densely-populated Gaza. Palestinian militants have fired rocket barrages into Israel since the war began. One struck a residential building in the central city of Petah Tikva, without wounding anyone.

The conflict has threatened to ignite a wider war across the region. Hezbollah, an Iranian-funded ally of Hamas operating out of Lebanon, has repeatedly traded fire with Israel along the border. Israel has carried out airstrikes in Lebanon, Syria and even the occupied West Bank.

Published October 26th, 2023 at 22:22 IST

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