Israeli forces, backed by warplanes, have staged a brief ground raid into central Gaza, as it is threatening a full ground invasion as part of a fierce aggression on the besieged strip that has so far killed over 7,000 people, most of them women and children.
The Israeli army said on Friday that its ground forces, accompanied by fighter jets and UAVs, “conducted an additional targeted raid in the central Gaza Strip” on the last day.
According to the Israeli military, Israeli tanks and infantry staged a similar raid in northern Gaza the previous night.
That statement comes as tens of thousands of Israeli troops have massed alongside the fence separating the occupied territories from Gaza ahead of a possible ground invasion.
There are fears that the invasion will lead to an exponential growth in the number of Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes since October 7 which topped 7,000.
The strikes have left Gazans "with nothing but impossible choices" the UN's humanitarian coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory said Thursday.
"Nowhere is safe in Gaza," said Lynne Hastings as UN figures showed the Israeli aggression left 1.4 million people, more than half of Gaza's population, displaced.
Hastings noted that Israel hit southern areas and evacuation routes despite repeatedly urging civilians in northern Gaza to move south for their safety.
Rahma Saqallah, was one of those who heeded Israeli warnings, but found that they are part of a false propaganda.
"They told us to leave for the south and then they killed us (here)," she told AFP after Israeli strikes killed her husband and three of her children in the southern city of Khan Yunis.
"Wherever we go, we will die," she said, as she prepared to return to Gaza City with her surviving child.
In addition to the strikes, the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza has reached new heights after Israel imposed a complete siege on the coastal sliver.
‘Israel killed 50 of its own captives’
The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas said on Thursday that Israel’s bombing of Gaza has so far killed 50 captives.
Abu Hamid, a member of a Hamas delegation visiting Moscow, told Russia's Kommersant newspaper the movement could not release the hostages until a ceasefire was agreed.
Since the aggression began, only 74 trucks of food, water, and medicine have been allowed to enter Gaza, a figure described by aid groups as vastly insufficient.
That’s while Gaza used to receive about 500 trucks daily before the fighting began, according to the United Nations.
Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime's decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.
Tel Aviv has also blocked water, food, and electricity to Gaza, plunging the coastal strip into a humanitarian crisis.
The Al-Aqsa Storm operation conducted by the Palestinian resistance killed at least 1,500 Israeli forces and settlers and injured more than 4,800 others. Dozens of captives were also taken to Gaza as part of the operation.
The White House reportedly advised Israel to delay the ground invasion to buy time to negotiate the release of the captives.
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