The Israeli army announced that its soldiers entered the war-torn Gaza City early Thursday morning, but faced fierce resistance from activists of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).And crossing the border into Egypt.
In statements during a press conference on Thursday, Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said that Israeli army soldiers “continued to advance in the Gaza City area and are engaged in close combat battles with Hamas terrorists and are expanding the fighting.”
Hajari said that Israeli forces targeted Hamas positions where militants were firing mortar rockets toward Israel and that IDF soldiers “fought against a large number of terrorists who tried to ambush them.”
Hajri added, “At the end of the battles that lasted for a few hours, including ground fighting with air support from aircraft and missile ships, many terrorists were killed.”
Screenshots have appearedReuters news agency reported on Thursday that militants from its ally, the Islamic Jihad movement, were using guerrilla-style tactics and emerging from underground tunnels to fire on Israeli tanks, then disappearing again into the underground tunnel networks.
Three Palestinians were killed in a tank shelling near the town of Khan Yunis, and an airstrike killed five outside a UN school in the Beach refugee camp on Thursday, according to Reuters, citing officials from the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.
Israeli forces are closing in on the main population center of the Gaza Strip in the north, where Hamas is based and where Israel is asking civilians to leave, according to Reuters.
The small Palestinian territory of Gaza was repeatedly hit by Israeli air strikes in the wake of the waron October 7, which left more than 1,400 people dead and hundreds more taken hostage.
theReuters, citing the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza, reported that the Strip, which is inhabited by 2.3 million people, had killed at least 9,061 people and 3,760 children.
As the fighting intensified, hundreds of Americans trapped in Gaza appeared ready to leave the war-torn enclave, while foreign nationals continued to cross the Rafah border crossing into Egypt after it was opened to them for the first time since October 7. Attacks.
The list issued by the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry in Gaza included the names of 400 American citizens who were approved to cross the border on Thursday. The US State Department estimates that there are about 400 Americans stranded in Gaza.
At least five NGO workers, who were confirmed to be Americans, were on a previous list published by the Interior Ministry in Gaza, where they were approved for transit on Wednesday. The five’s crossing into Egypt was confirmed by their humanitarian organizations in statements sent to CBS News.
The comprehensive blockade imposed on Gaza, in which no one can leave the affected area, continued for more than three weeks before the border crossing was opened on Wednesday. Hundreds of foreign nationals, as well as some wounded Palestinians, have reportedly crossed the border in the past 24 hours.
The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Thursday that Egypt will eventually help evacuate “about 7,000” foreigners and dual nationals from the war-torn Gaza Strip, representing “more than 60” nationalities.
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