A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) claims the Palestinian terror group Hamas is engaged in an “active effort” to prevent Gaza’s population from evacuating to the southern area of the strip.
“We see an active effort by Hamas to block and prevent the population from going south. Hamas wants to show the world that it has casualties and dead,” IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said, the Times of Israel reported.
“We continue to urge the residents of Gaza City, go south… Hamas wants you as human shields… This is for your personal safety,” the spokesperson added, according to the outlet. “We are going to attack very widely in Gaza City in the near future.”
Attached is a photo of a Hamas roadblock pic.twitter.com/zUjA79V4S9
— Israeli Air Force (@IAFsite) October 14, 2023
Israel told residents of northern Gaza to move south as the IDF prepares for a possible ground invasion in response to the Hamas-led terror attack that killed 1,300 people and wounded 3,200 more. At least 27 Americans are believed to be dead, CBS News reports. Israel estimates that 150 people are being held hostage in Gaza.
Meanwhile, Israeli Forces have already conducted “localized raids” into Gaza, according to Fox News.
“The IDF tells Fox News that Israeli forces entered the Gaza Strip today, both infantry forces and tanks, to conduct localized raids,” Fox News’s foreign correspondent Trey Yingst first reported on Friday. “This was not the full-scale invasion that everyone is still anticipating, but it was an effort, according to the Israeli military, to eliminate militants along the border and also to gather information on those held hostage inside the Gaza Strip.”
The IDF is said to have deemed the raids successful and is in the process of finalizing plans for a “significant ground operation” in Gaza, which it said will include a “joint and coordinated attack from the air, sea and land.”
The IDF said in a statement, per the Times of Israel:
In recent days, the tools required for combat have been transferred to the assembly areas, and at this stage the various units of the Technological and Logistics Directorate are working to complete the qualification of the tools and equipping them with advanced combat means, as needed.
“IDF battalions and soldiers are deployed all over the country and are prepared to increase readiness for the next stages of the war, with an emphasis on a significant ground operation,” the military added.