Tanks and group troops belonging to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducted a brief raid in the Gaza strip recently, crossing the border to strike at a number of Hamas installations in the area.
Israeli forces have called the raid a “tactical operation” – the entirety of the assault lasted only a few hours, with IDF troops returning back into Israel unharmed, according to Daniel Hagari, spokesperson for the IDF.
“Through the raid, we eliminated terrorists, we neutralised threats, dismantled explosives, neutralised ambushes,” Hagari said in a statement.
The raid is ostensibly part of preparations for a larger, full-scale raid into Gaza, as the Israeli government has repeatedly stated that it plans to go into Gaza in an attempt to put a permanent end to Hamas’ military capabilities. The raid was conducted “in preparation for the next stages of combat“, according to the IDF.
It remains to be seen, however, if Israel will succeed this time around, as Hamas has the reputation for being resilient and resourceful, as it has historically managed to quickly replace killed commanders and destroyed defenses and armaments.
Israeli forces utilized several Merkava Mark IV tanks in the assault – which some consider to be one of the most advanced tanks in the world. Footage released by the IDF shows its forces breaking through the border wall and advancing toward Hamas installations, as forces exchanged fire with jihadist militants. Footage released by the IDF does now include any video that shows Israeli forces maneuvering near Gaza’s residential areas.
The raid comes on the heels of the news that the United Nations operation in the region is running out of fuel for its forces and staff in the area, which are mainly occupied with providing relief and humanitarian assistance.
“We’re extremely distressed that critical UNRWA ops in Gaza are at risk due to critical fuel shortages. Fuel aid must be permitted to operate generators essential for hospitals, sanitation, water treatment, food & UN work in helping civilians & protecting human rights across Gaza,” the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said in a statement posted online.
Supplies like fuel, food, and even water are in short supply in Gaza due to a blockade imposed by Israel, ostensibly a part of their retaliation for Hamas’s October 7 attacks on the Jewish state. The attacks, which left more than 1,500 Israelis dead – a great majority of them civilians – sparked the conflict in the region, which has now seen a death toll of more than 7,000 Palestinian individuals, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health. The ministry has released a 212-page document listing the name, age and sex of Palestinians who have died following Israel’s swift and violent retaliation for the Hamas attack.
However, the U.S. has expressed skepticism over the number, with President Joe Biden saying that, “I have no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using.” U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby has also claimed that the “Gaza Ministry of Health is just a front for Hamas,” implying that the list of Palestinian casualties are largely overblown.
Tim Ramos has written for various publications, corporations, and organizations – covering everything from finance, politics, travel, entertainment, and sports – in Asia and the U.S. for more than 10 years.