Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, May 14, 2021.
Israeli ground forces have entered the Gaza Strip (Gaza Strip, Gaza Corridor) as part of a response to ongoing military operations by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, the Israeli army said on Friday (May 14) local time. The attack by Israeli ground forces indicates a further escalation of the conflict.
The Israeli Army issued a brief message saying, “Israeli aircraft and ground forces are launching attacks on the Gaza Strip.”
Army spokesman Jonathan Conricus confirmed that Israeli soldiers had entered the Palestinian enclave.
The IDF also announced in a tweet, “IDF air and ground forces are currently launching an offensive in the Gaza Strip.”
An Army spokesman said earlier, “We are ready and we will continue to prepare for all scenarios.” He noted that a ground attack is “one of those scenarios.”
Israel’s Defense Ministry has given the army the green light to mobilize thousands of reservists if necessary.
“Any ground invasion anywhere in the Gaza Strip will result in an increase in enemy deaths and captives.” The armed wing of Hamas warned that it continues to fire rockets into southern Israel.
Israel: Hamas Failed Rocket Fire Injures Innocent Gaza Civilians
Earlier Thursday, Israel deployed additional troops and tanks to the border, while Hamas fired rockets into Israel. The death toll climbed to more than 100 by the fourth day of the conflict.
According to the IDF, at least three of the rockets were fired by unknown individuals from the Lebanon area.
Israel has so far killed more than a dozen Hamas militants and airstrikes have leveled two tall buildings in the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Health Ministry says more than a hundred Palestinians have died in the latest fighting.
A total of seven people were killed in Israel, including a soldier and a 6-year-old boy.
The IDF tweeted that Hamas rockets were aimed at Israel but failed to fire and landed in Gaza. “This is not the first time that Hamas has fired 350 unsuccessful rockets in the last 3 days. These rockets have resulted in the deaths of innocent Gaza civilians.”
“It is time for the world to hold Hamas accountable.” The IDF said. The service also attached a video of Hamas firing rockets.
Hamas is a terrorist organization based in Gaza.
Blinken: Hamas Must Stop Firing Rockets
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Thursday that the United States is “very clear” that rocket attacks must stop and that Israel has the right to defend itself.
He also said the U.S. is “deeply concerned” about unrest and disturbances between Muslim and Jewish residents of mixed Muslim and Jewish cities in Israel.
He said, “We believe that Israelis and Palestinians deserve equal freedom, security, dignity and prosperity, and this recognition will continue to drive our approach.”
Israel releases photo of slain Hamas leader
The Israeli military tweeted photos of the leaders of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (HIM), saying they were killed during the week.
The tweet read, “These are the faces of the top leaders and terrorists of Hamas and Islamic militant groups.” “They can no longer plan another terrorist attack.”