Palestinians inspect the rubble as smoke rises at a destroyed area following Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, 25 October 2023 (issued 26 october 2023). EFE/EPA/MOHAMMED SABER

Israeli army carries out ‘selective’ tank raid into Gaza Strip

Jerusalem, Oct 26 (EFE).- The Israeli army conducted a brief tank raid in the northern Gaza Strip in preparation of the next stage of combat against the Islamist group Hamas, the military said Thursday.

The development comes a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was in the Gaza Strip, said his troops would make a ground intervention in the Palestinian enclave.

“In preparation for the next stages of combat, the IDF operated in northern Gaza. IDF tanks & infantry struck numerous terrorist cells, infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts,” the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said in a post on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

A military spokesperson, whose identity was not given, revealed the “selective incursion” occurred overnight during which the soldiers shot down several “terrorists, terrorist infrastructure” and missile launchpads.

“The soldiers have since exited the area and returned to Israeli territory,” the IDF post added.

Since Israel declared war against Hamas on Oct. 7, following a massive attack by the Islamist group that left more than 1,400 dead.

Israeli troops have carried out short ground raids along with constant bombings in the northern Gaza Strip that have left more than 6,500 dead in the enclave.

On the other hand, Palestinian militias in Gaza continued firing rockets into Israeli territory overnight, and for the first time since the beginning of the war, toward the city of Eilat, in the extreme south of Israel.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu has said Israel will conduct ground operations in Gaza, without giving details, and asked civilians in the Gaza Strip to evacuate.

More than a million Palestinians, half the population of the Gaza Strip, have been displaced south – where there are also constant bombings by Israeli forces – amid an unprecedented humanitarian crisis following the total cut-off of water, food, medicine, electricity and fuel by Israel.

Many hospitals in Gaza have already collapsed and are unable to care for the more than 17,000 wounded, the vast majority of whom are children, women and the elderly. The humanitarian aid through the border with Egypt is insufficient. EFE