Ground war intensifies: IDF continues advance into Gaza

The IDF continues ground operations in the Gaza Strip, penetrating deeper into the territory, destroying terrorist infrastructure and eliminating terrorists; Combat zones are sparsely populated and soldiers enjoy an advantage in firepower and camouflage that makes it difficult for Hamas

IDF forces expanding ground operations in the Gaza Strip
(Video: IDF Spokesman's Unit)

The Israel Defense Forces troops that entered the Gaza Strip Friday night advanced on Saturday to the west, several more kilometers deep into Palestinian territory. During the operation, the forces encountered several terrorists and hit them; in addition, the operation destroyed terrorist infrastructure and damaged long-range rocket launch sites.
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Over the last day, since the ground operation began, the IDF forces have enjoyed an advantage in firepower and mass of forces, from an area with a very sparse population and heavy camouflage that makes it difficult for Hamas operatives.
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תיעוד מפעילות כוחות קרקעיים של צה"ל ברצועת עזה
תיעוד מפעילות כוחות קרקעיים של צה"ל ברצועת עזה
IDF releases documentation of the activity of IDF ground forces in the Gaza Strip
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Since the start of ground operations in Gaza, the Palestinian communication network in the Strip reportedly has collapsed. "The Palestinians are cut off from the outside world. They can't even communicate with each other," reported BBC journalist Rushdi Abualouf.
The Palestinian Civil Defense reported Saturday that "the attacks at night completely destroyed hundreds of buildings in the Gaza Strip." However, Hamas claimed on Saturday morning that "the al-Qassam Brigades and all the Palestinian resistance forces are fully prepared to face the aggression with full force and thwart the invasions." According to the terrorist organization, its men clashed overnight "with IDF forces in the town of Beit Hanoun, northeast of Gaza, and in Borij in the center of the Gaza Strip."
IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi commented on the ground operation Saturday evening and said "this war has phases, today we are entering a new phase. Our forces are currently carrying out ground operations in the Strip, which are accompanied by accurate and heavy fire." Halevi emphasized that these operations "are intended to serve all the goals of the war: dismantling Hamas, security at the borders and a supreme effort to return all the hostages home."
According to the chief of staff, the "ground forces are carrying out an important and complex operation. The war objectives require a ground invasion. There are no achievements without risks and, as we know, there is no victory without prices. In order to expose the enemy and destroy him, there is no other way but to forcefully enter his territory."
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