The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had expanded its ground operation to the entire Gaza Strip, IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari told reporters.
Earlier, local media reported, citing the country’s armed forces, the start of a ground operation in the southern Gaza Strip, dw.com says.
According to Doron Kadosh, a correspondent for the army radio station Galei IDF, armored troops have already been deployed north of the town of Khan Younis, striking Hamas terrorist organization facilities. Additional forces are expected to be transferred to the area soon.
The start of the ground operation in the southern part of the Strip was confirmed by IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi.
“Yesterday and today we eliminated brigade commanders, company commanders and many militants (of Hamas. - Ed.). In addition, yesterday morning we began the same process in the south of the Gaza Strip. It will be carried out with no less force (than in the north. - Ed.) and will bring no less results,” The Times of Israel quotes him.
After negotiations on extending the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel stalled, the parties resumed hostilities. Last night, there were reports of heavy bombardment near Khan Younis. In the morning, the IDF called on its residents to immediately leave several areas of the city.
The Israeli military reported that, since the beginning of the ground operation in the Gaza Strip, they had destroyed some 500 of more than 800 tunnel shafts found, inter alia, near and inside schools, kindergartens and mosques. The IDF reported that the Israeli Air Force, in coordination with ground units, hit a total of some 10,000 targets, including terrorist groups, weapons depots, tunnel shafts and command centers.