The Israeli military said it will be “expanding its activity” in Gaza following two small raids into the territory this week ahead of its expected ground invasion.
“In addition to the attacks that we carried out in recent days, ground forces are expanding their activity this evening,” Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Friday. “The IDF is acting with great force … to achieve the objectives of the war.”
Hagari said activity is focused on destroying Hamas tunnel complexes near the border with Israel and other targets.
Hundreds of thousands of Israeli soldiers stand ready to invade the 240 square-mile Gaza Strip when called upon, The Associated Press reported.
The Israeli military has hinted at a ground invasion for weeks amid its war with Hamas, which began early this month after 1,400 Israelis were killed in a surprise Hamas attack, most of them civilians.
The resulting Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have leveled neighborhoods and killed more than 7,000 Palestinians, including more than 2,900 children, according to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry.
The war has resulted in a wide-scale humanitarian crisis in Gaza, leaving more than a million people displaced and food, water, fuel and medical supplies dwindling.