Israel's strong rhetoric regarding the elimination of the Hamas terrorist group is now poised to transition into concrete actions.
After three weeks of relentless airstrikes on Gaza targets, a ground invasion now seems increasingly likely. Satellite images have revealed the gathering of hundreds of Israeli tanks just north of Gaza, providing a telling indication of the imminent operation.
However, this isn't the sole indicator of an impending invasion; Israel has also issued an evacuation order for an Israeli town situated near the Lebanon border.
"Whoever sees Gaza from afar now will see it from the inside ... It might take a week, a month, two months until we destroy them," said Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.
If troops do go into Gaza, it would be Israel's biggest ground operation since the 2006 invasion of Lebanon and the first time Israel has attempted to capture land since its invasion of Gaza in 2008. However, this time around, Gallant stated that after the country eliminates Hamas, the military does not intend to control "life in the Gaza Strip," according to the Associated Press.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, their overnight strikes targeted over 100 sites in Gaza connected to the territory's Hamas leadership, which included tunnel shafts and emissions warehouses.
Early on Friday, Israel also launched a bombardment of the Gaza Strip, targeting areas where Palestinians had been instructed to seek refuge, according to reports by the AP.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with members of the IDF's Golani Brigade on Wednesday, telling them in a pep talk that they "will fight like lions."
“Are you ready for what comes next? We are going to win with the Almighty. Are you ready? The entire people of Israel support and stand with you, and we will strike our enemies so we can achieve victory,” Netanyahu said.
This is all happening as the effort to get humanitarian relief into Gaza continues.
Israel imposed a total siege on the area on Oct. 9, cutting off all shipments of food, water and fuel, but during a visit to Tel Aviv this week, U.S. President Joe Biden brokered a deal, under very strict conditions, to send in supplies through Egypt's Rafah crossing, the border checkpoint between Egypt and Gaza.
More than 200 trucks and about 3,000 tons of aid, such as food, water and medical supplies, are lined up on the Egyptian side, but no aid has crossed yet amid continued disagreements between Egypt and Israel, with Egypt stating on Monday that Israel was not cooperating with the delivery of aid.
However, U.S. officials said that they anticipate that the first convoy will go through the border over the weekend, potentially as early as Saturday.
There has been no word on efforts to get the more than 200 hostages released who are believed to be held in Gaza and still alive. However, a Hamas leader is saying that not all of the hostages are being held by his group, which adds to the complexity of negotiations for their release.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.
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