IDF ground forces enter Gaza ahead of major operation

Israeli tanks operate inside Gaza Strip in build-up to full-scale ground operation.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

In Israel’s largest action on the ground in the Gaza Strip to date since October 7, a group of IDF tanks made a short foray into the northern part of the enclave in the early hours of Thursday morning to hit Hamas targets, the army announced in a statement.

The army posted to X a short clip of about a dozen tanks entering through a gap in the fence after a bulldozer pushes aside a large berm of sand. They can then be seen shelling places in an unidentified neighborhood of partially destroyed apartment buildings.


The IDF wrote on X that the “pinpoint raid” into northern Gaza was implemented by the Givati Brigade “in preparation for the next stages of combat.”

During its execution, “IDF tanks & infantry struck numerous terrorist cells, infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts.”

The post, from 7:42 AM, added that “The soldiers have since exited the area and returned to Israeli territory.”

Army Radio reported that the incursion was comparatively deep inside the Hamas-run territory. It was also more extensive than any of the other raids the IDF has made since the Iran-backed terror organization invaded Gaza envelope communities in a surprise attack and murdered 1,400 men, women, children and babies, the vast majority civilians in their homes and at a dance rave.

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The IDF has called 360,000 reservists to duty since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas after the massacre.

The Israeli government has promised to destroy the Iran-backed terror group, ending its reign in the Strip once and for all, and commenced a bombing campaign of military targets immediately.

Some 10,000 airstrikes have since been recorded.

In order to fulfill the promise, however, Israel will also have to put boots on the ground.

Sacrificing the element of surprise in order to save as many civilian Arab lives as possible, the IDF warned Gazans a week ago to evacuate the northern part of the Strip.

Some 1,400,000 have fled to the southern half of the Strip, even though Hamas leaders told them to stay, with the intention of having the civilians act as their forces’ human shields.

According to a report Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal, Israel has agreed to a U.S. request to hold off on its planned invasion so that American forces can position air defenses to protect troops in the region.