Israeli forces launched a “targeted raid” with tanks in northern Gaza on Thursday before withdrawing from the Strip, the Israeli military said.
A video posted by the Israeli army showed tanks and armored vehicles, including a bulldozer, moving on a road near the fence. Tanks fired artillery and some destruction was seen nearby.
The IDF said the raid was “part of preparations for the next combat phases.”
The statement stated, “The soldiers left the area after the operation ended.”
IDF spokesman Peter Lerner described the raid as large but limited in scope, saying it was “a clear and comprehensive operation aimed at creating better conditions for ground operations if and when this happens.”
“We have already engaged the enemy and killed the terrorists who were planning to launch attacks against us with guided anti-tank missiles,” he told CNN.
IDF preparations: Israel has vowed to eliminate Hamas, the armed group that controls the Gaza Strip, in response to its deadly October 7 terrorist attacks and kidnappings that left 1,400 people dead, most of them civilians, and more than 200 hostages.
In a televised speech on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that Israel was “preparing for a ground incursion” into Gaza after nearly three weeks of air strikes on the coastal enclave.
Israeli raids killed more than 6,400 people and injured 17,000 others, according to information from Hamas-controlled health authorities in Gaza and published by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah.
Limited skirmishes have already taken place between Israel and Hamas militants on the ground in Gaza. An Israeli soldier killed in a clash with Hamas on Sunday is the first publicly reported Israeli military death inside the Strip since October 7, the Israeli military said on Tuesday.
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