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Israel said Friday it is ratcheting up its military operations in the Gaza Strip, launching artillery and missile strikes into the Hamas-controlled enclave and sending tanks and other armored vehicles across the border.
“In recent hours we have increased the attacks in Gaza,” Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, an Israel Defense Forces spokesman, said in an interview on Israeli television. “In continuation of the offensive activity we carried out in the last few days, the ground forces are expanding the ground activity this evening.”
He said Israel’s air force is “very significantly” striking underground targets and terrorist infrastructure.
“The IDF works powerfully in all dimensions in order to achieve the goals of the war,” Adm. Hagari said.
He spoke with reporters in Israel shortly after power and internet access were reported completely cut off in Gaza. It wasn’t immediately clear if the latest operations were an indication that the much-anticipated invasion of Gaza was in the offing.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed this week that a ground invasion of Gaza would occur, despite calls from a number of people to allow a humanitarian cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
“When we go into Gaza, in the continuation of the fighting, we will exact the full price from the murderers — those who perpetrated Hamas’ ISIS-like horrors,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “I again call on the non-combatant population in Gaza [to] evacuate to the southern Gaza Strip.”
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