Gaza, The Gulf Observer: The Israeli army carried out a “targeted raid” on ground in Gaza backed by fighter jets and drones while continuing bombardment, which has claimed over 7,000 Palestinian lives, including at least 2,900 children.
“During the last day, IDF ground forces, accompanied by IDF fighter jets and UAVs, conducted an additional targeted raid in the central Gaza Strip,” an Israeli army statement said on Friday as it prepares for a land invasion.
“The IDF identified and struck numerous terror targets, including anti-tank missile launch sites, military command and control centres, as well as Hamas terrorists,” it said, saying troops “exited the area at the end of the activity”.
Black-and-white footage released by the military showed a column of armoured vehicles as a thick cloud of dust billowed into the sky after the strikes.
The army conducted a similar ground operation using tanks and infantry the previous night in the northern part of the Palestinian territory.
The latest incursions came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated earlier this week that Israel was “preparing for a ground offensive”.
Palestinian sources told Al Jazeera that Israeli forces carried out “a very limited incursion” overnight into the outskirts of the town of Beit Hanoon, north of the Gaza Strip, as well as in al-Bureij refugee camp.
Israel said military raids into Gaza were preparing “the next stage of the operation”, amid fears that a ground invasion of the Palestinian enclave could spark a wider Middle East conflict.