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Israel says it's expanding ground operations in Gaza amid heavy bombardment

by Martin Fornusek October 27, 2023 11:08 PM 2 min read
An IDF soldier jumps off the front of a tank on Oct. 21, 2023, in Southern Israel. (Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
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Israel is expanding its ground operations in the Gaza Strip, Daniel Hagari, a spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), announced on Oct. 27 following hours of heavy bombardment, the Washington Post reported.

It's still unclear if the announcement means the launch of a full-scale Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip or a more limited operation. Peter Lerner, another spokesperson for the IDF, has denied that the expanded Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip are the official ground invasion that has been expected, ABC News reported.

A U.S. official told ABC News Israel is launching a more limited incursion.

The announcement comes amid a massive internet and cellular blackout that hit much of Gaza several hours ago, according to witnesses and monitoring groups.

Hagari said that Israel will continue its strikes in Gaza City and its surroundings in the north of the Palestinian enclave and called on its residents to move to the southern areas "where it is much safer."

The U.S. has reportedly urged Israel to rethink its plans for a major ground invasion, instead suggesting "surgical" operations using aircraft and special forces against high-value Hamas targets, the Washington Post reported, citing five U.S. officials.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Oct. 25 that the IDF would soon launch its long-prepared ground offensive into Gaza in order to destroy Hamas after the terrorist group launched an attack on Israeli settlements on Oct. 7.

Israel's forces have been carrying out limited incursions into the enclave for the past two nights. Hamas' attack and Israel's retaliatory strikes have already cost thousands of lives on both sides.

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