The Israeli military launched a ground operation in the Gaza Strip Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces said.
The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced he had instructed the IDF to start a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the underground tunnels that reach into Israel.
The army said in a statement late Thursday that after 10 days of Hamas attacks, it had “initiated a ground operation within the Gaza Strip.” The army said the objective was to strike a “significant blow to Hamas’ terror infrastructure.”
The army did not say how many troops were involved or provide other details.
Netanyahu’s office said he instructed the army to go ahead after Hamas rejected an Egyptian cease-fire plan earlier in the week and after Hamas militants tried to infiltrate into Israel through a tunnel from Gaza earlier Thursday.
“In light of the despicable and relentless aggression by Hamas and the dangerous infiltration into Israel, Israel is obliged to protect its citizens,” the statement said.
It added Operation “Defensive Edge” would continue” until its goal is reached – to restore sustainable quiet and calm to the Israeli citizens while severely hurting and dismantling Hamas infrastructure as well as other terrorist organization in Gaza.”
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