June 22, 2024

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Israel carries out ‘targeted raid’ against Hamas in Gaza

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Israeli forces carried out a “targeted raid” in the north of the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Thursday, as they stepped up preparations for a ground operation in the coastal enclave to topple the militant group Hamas.

Israeli forces have been conducting limited ground raids in Gaza since Sunday, but Army Radio said the latest one, in which soldiers and tanks hit Hamas infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch sites, was the biggest incursion yet.

Thursday’s raid was meant to “prepare the battlefield” for the next stage of the war, Israel’s military said, adding that its soldiers had left the area at the end of the operation.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday night that Israel was “preparing for a ground invasion” of Gaza in response to a devastating attack by Hamas militants nearly three weeks ago, but he did not provide any details on when it would take place.

“All Hamas members are dead men,” Netanyahu said in a televised address. “Above ground, underground, in Gaza and outside Gaza.”

The Israeli prime minister has been under domestic and international pressure over his war plans, with hardliners in his government demanding a more aggressive response to Hamas’s assault, even as other players urge Israel to delay the long-expected ground operation in Gaza.

The US has asked Israel to hold off so it can better deploy air defence systems to the region, amid concerns that the war between Israel and Hamas risks triggering a wider conflict, and to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.

There have also been calls to allow time to free more than 200 hostages that Islamist militants captured during their attack on Israel. Hamas has so far released four.

The US is also trying to reach a deal to allow foreign nationals trapped in Gaza to leave via the territory’s sole border crossing with Egypt.

US president Joe…

2023-10-26 03:10:58

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