6:07 a.m. ET, October 28, 2023
Israeli ground forces inside Gaza, Army spokesman confirms
Israeli ground forces are inside Gaza having entered the enclave overnight from the north, army spokesman Daniel Hagari said Saturday morning.
“The forces are in the field and continue the fighting,” he said without giving further details.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman’s words confirm the military operation has undergone a significant expansion after what it had earlier described as two “targeted raids,” which took place on Wednesday night and Thursday night. Both those raids saw ground forces withdraw after a few hours.
However, it does not appear as though any major ground offensive aimed at seizing and holding significant amounts of the territory is yet underway.
Hagari said the army had suffered no casualties in overnight fighting, and added, “we keep doing everything in order to keep our forces safe.”
The IDF spokesperson said Gazans who had moved south of Wadi Gaza, a waterway bisecting the centre of the strip, were in an area he called a “protected space,” and would receive more food, water and medicine today, though he did not give any details.
Hagari also reiterated his appeal to disregard rumours of a hostage deal with Hamas, calling it a cynical move by the group aimed at promoting what he called “psychological terror.”
“Returning the hostages home is of highest national effort. And all our operational activities are directed towards the realization of this goal,” he said.