Israeli Forces Ambushed By Hamas Terrorists

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) encountered Hamas militants near the Gaza Strip border after they emerged from a tunnel today. This confrontation coincided with an increased deployment of IDF personnel, tanks, and armored vehicles into Gaza due to the recent escalation in shelling.

The IDF has publicized bodycam footage capturing the moment tanks and bulldozers advanced into northern Gaza. According to military reports, their ground operations led to the neutralization of several militants amidst intense exchanges.

The IDF conveyed in a statement, “Near the Erez crossing, our forces detected several militants emerging from a tunnel within the Gaza Strip. Upon identification, a confrontation ensued, resulting in the elimination of multiple militants and injuries to others. Concurrently, other encounters took place where militants were neutralized.”

Subsequently, the armed faction of Hamas stated, “Our combatants are currently in intense combat using machine guns and anti-tank weaponry against the Israeli forces in northwest Gaza.” Further, the IDF reported successful aerial strikes on two Hamas operational bases, leading to the neutralization of several militants.

On Friday evening, Israel heightened its ground operations in Gaza. Defence Minister Yoav Gallant described it as the next phase of their campaign against Hamas, initiated by the attacks on Israel on October 7.

While Israeli forces have previously conducted limited ground operations in Gaza, the current mission marks their most extended presence since the onset of recent hostilities.

Amidst these developments, the US emphasized the necessity for Israel to safeguard non-combatant residents of Gaza. It underscored the importance of distinguishing between Hamas militants and civilians.

The White House has expressed the need for prudence, particularly in light of an upcoming discussion between President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The IDF has received directives to minimize civilian harm in Gaza. Local health authorities in Gaza, governed by Hamas, have reported over 8,000 casualties – including 4,000 children – during the three-week aerial assault, which was in response to Hamas’s attacks on Israel on October 7.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, during his appearance on CNN’s ‘State of the Union,’ commented, “The Israeli government and IDF should employ all possible measures to discern between Hamas militants, who are valid military targets, and civilians, who aren’t.” He confirmed President Biden would convey this stance in his conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Furthermore, Sullivan mentioned US efforts to secure the release of over 220 Israeli captives in Gaza held by Hamas and provide assistance to Palestinian Americans trapped in the region.