Israel Ground Forces Storm Gaza to Battle Hamas Militants
The Israel military confirmed the latest development in a statement issued Friday.
The army said troops had entered Gaza to battle militants, destroy weapons and search for evidence about the missing hostages held by Hamas.
The announcement did not appear to be the beginning of an expected ground invasion of Gaza. Israel has been massing troops along the Gaza border since last Saturday’s deadly incursion by Hamas militants.
The Israel Defense Forces disclosed in a statement today, however, that infantry forces and tanks entered the Gaza Strip on Friday in “localized raids” in order to clear the area of potential terrorists and locate missing Israelis in a likely precursor to a full-scale incursion in response to the weekend Hamas onslaught that killed more than 1,300 Israelis.
According to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, armoured and infantry forces carried out searches and “thwarted anti-tank guided missile squads that intended to infiltrate into Israeli territory.
“The forces located findings that may help in the effort to locate the missing,” Hagari said. “We will continue to make every effort to find every detail about the missing and hostages,” he added.
It has been estimated that Hamas took approximately 150-200 individuals’ hostage during their violent assault on Saturday. The Israeli Defense Forces have thus far informed 120 families that their relatives are currently being detained in the Gaza Strip