Satellite imagery has revealed where Israel has deployed hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles, as it prepares to invade Gaza. The military buildup seen in satellite images is some four miles north of the Erez Crossing, a primary entry point on Gaza’s northern border. Tanks and other armored vehicles are seen in the pictures, which were taken at the end of last week by Planet Labs.
Among those include Merkava tanks, armored personnel carriers and militarized bulldozers, according to the New York Times . Ahead of the ground invasion, Israel had demanded that the population of northern Gaza evacuate to the southern half of the territory. Despite this, Israel have continued to fire on parts of the southern strip that had been declared safe zones. A residential building in Khan Younis, a city in southern Gaza where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had sought shelter, was among the places hit.
Palestinian militants fired rockets into Israel on Thursday from Gaza and Lebanon, and tensions flared in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. In a fiery speech to Israeli infantry soldiers on the Gaza border, defense minister Yoav Gallant urged the forces to ‘get organized, be ready’ for an order to move in. Speaking to the tens of thousands of troops that Israel have amassed on the border, he said: ”Whoever sees Gaza from afar now will see it from the inside … I promise you. ‘It might take a week, a month, two months until we destroy them,’ he added, referring to Hamas.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his forces were fighting against the ‘worst monsters on the planet’. The Israeli Prime Minister added that this was during the ‘world’s darkest hour’ as he also warned there would be ‘ups and down’. Shortly after Gallant’s statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a video of himself with troops near the border promising victory. Tensions have been ramped up further in recent days after a blast at a hospital in Gaza killed hundreds of people, with Israel and Palestinian terror groups blaming each other for the devastation.
The Gaza Health Ministry said 3,785 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began, the majority of them women, children and older adults. Nearly 12,500 others were injured, and another 1,300 people were believed buried under the rubble, health authorities said. More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly civilians slain during Hamas’ deadly incursion on Oct. 7. Roughly 200 others were abducted. The Israeli military said on Thursday it had notified the families of 203 captives.
Israel’s consent for Egypt to let in food, water and medicine provided the first possibility for an opening in its sealing off of the territory. Many among Gaza’s 2.3 million residents are down to one meal a day and drinking dirty water. Israel did not list fuel as a permitted item, but a senior Egyptian security official said Egypt was negotiating for the entry of fuel for hospitals.
With the Egypt-Gaza border crossing in Rafah still closed, the already dire conditions at Gaza’s second-largest hospital deteriorated further, said Dr Mohammed Qandeel. Power was shut off in most departments to save it for intensive care and other vital functions, and staff members were using mobile phones for light. At least 80 wounded civilians and 12 dead were brought into the hospital on Thursday morning after witnesses said a strike hit a residential building in Khan Younis.
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