Saturday will mark three weeks since the deadly Hamas attack on Israel, and for the second night in a row, Israeli tanks moved into central Gaza, a long column crossing the border for a targeted raid, and this time the force included combat engineers.
Video released by the Israel Defense Forces shows attacks from artillery on the ground and air strikes. The target is an area in central Gaza, east of Gaza City, where extensive Hamas tunnels and military positions are known to be located.
IDF says the operation struck Hamas military command and control centers, anti-tank missile launch sites, and known Hamas terrorists. The force returned back across the border into Israel.
Israeli forces also released footage of the command center for the incursion, identifying top military leaders crowded into the room, including the commander of Israel's air force and the head of the large, armored division that carried out the raid.
This is the second overnight raid in a row, signaling an escalation of combat, but stopping short of the full-scale ground invasion that many here fear would endanger the lives of the hostages. The IDF increased yet again the number of confirmed hostages to 229, which include foreigners, children, and older adults, not counting the four who have been released.
Over 1,400 people in Israel have lost their lives, mainly civilians during the initial Hamas attack. Meanwhile, the Palestinian death toll has soared past 7,300, according to The Associated Press.
On the border with Gaza, hundreds of thousands of troops are staged amidst an overnight escalation.
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