Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has declared that Israel has entered a new phase in its mission to eradicate Hamas, the group responsible for initiating hostilities by invading Israeli territory and causing casualties on October 7th.
This announcement comes in the wake of Israel’s expanded ground operations in the Gaza Strip, which saw the targeting of approximately 150 underground terrorist facilities.
Gallant emphasized the determination of the Israeli forces, stating, “The earth in Gaza shook. We attacked above ground and below ground, we attacked terror operatives of all ranks, in all places. The commands to the forces are clear: The operation will continue until a new order.”
Speaking about the broader strategy, Gallant added, “Regarding other areas, we are preparing to defend Israeli citizens, to safeguard their security. We are doing this in the north, the center and everywhere.”
These remarks follow Israel’s deployment of tanks and special forces into Gaza on Friday evening, with the aim to eliminate specific targets and pave the way for a potential full-scale ground invasion.
Even amid calls for a ceasefire, Israel continued its efforts against Hamas, some of which was seen in footage released by the Israel Defense Forces showing airstrikes on underground command centers and tunnels.
Madhath Mubashar—Commander of Hamas' Western Khan Yunis Battalion—was eliminated by an IDF aerial strike.
Furthermore, the IDF struck 250+ Hamas targets including a terrorist tunnel network in Gaza that detonated the secondary explosions. pic.twitter.com/qaB5J0np2G
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 27, 2023
While Friday night’s move marked the expansion of Israel’s ground operations against Hamas in Gaza, the full details of the operation, including the confirmed targets and scope, have not been disclosed by the IDF, as reported by the Times of Israel.
Hamas might even have more heat coming their way as the IDF says a full ground invasion has not yet been initiated.