Israeli ground offensive in Gaza 'on table'
As the Israeli military intensifies its strike on Hamas, plans for a possible ground invasion of the Gaza Strip will be presented to IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi for approval later on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters, IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman said that the plans are being put together by the Gaza Division and Southern Command and will then be given to Israel’s political echelon for approval.
"Tonight we started destroying government targets in the Gaza Strip, such as central banks and internal security buildings. Hamas is beginning to discover cracks and there is pressure in the organization, even among the Gaza public who is losing its patience and sees these ruins on the eve of the holiday [of Eid al-Fitr]," The Jerusalem Post cited him as saying.
Over 650 targets belonging to Hamas have been struck since the beginning of Operation Guardian of the Walls, such as those belonging to their police, Interior Ministry, banks, homes of commanders including that of the battalion commander of Khan Younis, a naval commando unit and a defensive tunnel inside a school.
Three high-rise buildings were also destroyed by Israel Air Force airstrikes and some 60 Hamas operatives have been killed, including 10 senior commanders.
According to Zilberman, all options remain on the table and additional ground troops have been redeployed to the border ahead of a possible ground operation.