Israeli military announces attacks on 150 underground targets in Gaza Strip
The IDF attacked 150 underground Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, the most in the Gaza war so far, as Palestinian residents in the area reported clashes with Israeli armored vehicles and infantry overnight. It was announced that the largest airstrike had been carried out.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, about 100 Israeli fighter jets were involved in the attack, which began in earnest after dark on Friday.
Video footage released by the Israel Defense Forces on Saturday morning showed columns of tanks rolling across the flat, open sands of the Gaza Strip, firing into distant urban areas.
Unlike recent large-scale raids at night, when Israeli forces withdrew, tanks and infantry continued to attack on Saturday morning. remained in Gaza, officials said.
Israel Defense Forces spokesman Gen. Daniel Hagari said, "The troops are still on the ground and continuing the war," without elaborating.
The escalation in fighting has raised concerns among the families of the 229 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. The Hostage and Missing Families Forum called for immediate talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and war ministers.
Group said in a statement: "Tonight was the worst night ever. "The fear, the frustration, and most of all the anger is that no wartime minister went out of his way to meet the families of the abductees, and that the ground operation was the worst of the 229 abductees in the Gaza Strip. There is no attempt to explain whether it jeopardizes the safety of the victims.''
Internet and mobile phone service has been almost completely cut off in Gaza since Friday evening, with residents in the Hamas-controlled coastal area There was little information about the status of the 2.3 million people. Footage from Israeli and Egyptian media cameras outside the Gaza Strip showed a night of endless airstrikes and shelling that painted the night sky orange.
On Saturday morning, Gaza was shrouded in thick fog. Occasional explosions could be heard nearby.
An Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson said the airstrikes by 100 Israeli fighter jets hit combat tunnels, underground combat zones and underground terrorist infrastructure.
Smoke rises from the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday morning.
Smoke rises from the northern part of the Gaza Strip on Saturday morning. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/EPA
The handful of reports to emerge from inside Gaza described a chaotic situation, with paramedic teams struggling to coordinate the recovery of the dead and injured because of the lack of communications.
A journalist working for the BBC in Gaza described “total chaos” during the night of strikes and in its aftermath.
“There was a huge bombardment in the north of Gaza Strip on a scale we`ve never seen before,” wrote Rushdi Abualouf.
“At the hospital here, ambulance drivers told me they couldn`t communicate with anyone, so they were just driving in the direction of the explosions.
``People tried to contact their families in other areas to make sure they were safe, but the phones were not working, and there was panic everywhere, even here in Khan Yunis, where there were few explosions.