Machine gun fire breaks out on Israel's border with Gaza as soldiers told 'you will soon see it from the inside'

20 October 2023, 09:41 | Updated: 20 October 2023, 12:22

Israel is poised to invade Gaza
Israel is poised to invade Gaza. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Machine gun fire has broken out on the border with Israel and Gaza after soldiers were told they would soon see the strip from "inside".

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Israel is massing its army and it's poised to invade on the ground in a bid to end Hamas's capacity to harm its people ever again.

The stage is set for an expected attack, which will force soldiers to fight in the densely urban Gaza city and in the "Metro" system of terrorist tunnels, with world leaders including Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak having left after their visits.

Automatic fire was heard on the border on Friday morning and reporters in the area have noticed increased activity on the frontier.

Read more: Rishi Sunak has 'failed monumentally' to 'humanise' both sides of the Israel-Hamas conflict says Israel expert

Yoav Gallant, the defence minister, told troops: "Whoever sees Gaza from afar will soon see it from the inside. The command will come, I promise you.

"There is no forgiveness for this thing. Only total annihilation of Hamas organisation - terror infrastructures, everything that has to do with terrorists and whoever sent them.

IDF troops are poised to invade Gaza
IDF troops are poised to invade Gaza. Picture: Alamy

"It will take a week, it will take a month, it will take two months, until we annihilate them. You are not alone in battle. We trust you and count on you. Carry on training while there is time."

Israel has pummelled Gaza with air strikes, causing international observers to fear for innocent Palestinians' safety.

Read more: 'America is a beacon to the world, still': Joe Biden to ask Congress for urgent aid for Israel and Ukraine

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) has told about a million people in Gaza city to go south for their own safety.

They will seek to ruin Hamas, having already killed a number of their senior members, and rescue as many of the roughly 200 hostages as they can.

Rockets are intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome at Ashkelon
Rockets are intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome at Ashkelon. Picture: Alamy

Earlier this week, Eli Cohen, Israel's foreign minister, said: "At the end of this war, not only will Hamas no longer be in Gaza, but the territory of Gaza will also decrease." It was unclear if that meant annexation or a kind of buffer zone would be imposed.

It is almost two weeks on from the day Hamas paraglided over the security barrier and breached Israel's defences before rampaging through a music festival and villages, butchering the elderly and babies and sparing some so they could abduct them.

Israel has bombarded Gaza after Hamas' massacre
Israel has bombarded Gaza after Hamas' massacre. Picture: Alamy

An invasion will lead to even more casualties and worsen community tensions worldwide amid mass protests for Palestine and a huge spike in anti-Semitic incidents.

But it is unclear when Israel will strike.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an IDF spokesman, said: "We will not advertise when, where, and how we will advance or do or enhance our military activities."

Soldiers are "standing by for the next stage of our operations", he added.

It comes after Rishi Sunak pledged to stand by Israel against terrorism.

"I'm proud to stand here with you in Israel's darkest hour, as your friend," he told Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"We will stand with you in solidarity, we will stand with your people. And we also want you to win."

Netanyahu, who called Hamas the "new Nazis", promised troops would "win with full force".

US troops at the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq were attacked with drones and missiles but no casualties have been reported. An American warship, the USS Carney, intercepted three land attack missiles launched by Houthi fighters in the Red Sea.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Nigel Farage said that the West had provoked Putin into invading Ukraine

'We gave Putin an excuse': Nigel Farage says the West provoked Russia into invading Ukraine

Breaking
Breaking News

Two charged after Just Stop Oil protesters sprayed private jets with orange paint at Stansted Airport

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Tories raise less than £300k in second week of election campaign, as over three-quarters of all donations go to Labour

File photo of passengers boarding an Easyjet plane

Chaos as Easyjet kicks 26 men off flight headed from the UK to Portugal for 'disruptive behaviour'

Bardia Shojeifard

'Outwardly normal' teen killer with 'worrying interest in knives' posed with huge blade before murdering Alfie Lewis, 15

Police were called to a property at Shorncliffe Road shortly after 3pm on Sunday

Pictured: Baby girl mauled to death in Coventry dog attack at family home

Public schoolboy guilty of attempted murder after vicious clawhammer attack on sleeping staff and students ahead of 'zombie apocalypse'

Public schoolboy obsessed by 'zombie apocalypse' guilty of claw hammer attack on sleeping staff and students

PC Idominik Efeotor raised the issue at the annual State of London debate

'The people who investigate the officers are the problem’: Black Met officer hits out at disproportionate treatment in disciplinary process

Salisbury Novichok victim Dawn Sturgess

Former spy and daughter may give evidence at Salisbury poisonings inquiry

Rishi Sunak has urged voters not to let Labour 'waltz into office'

'Don't let Labour waltz into office', Sunak tells voters as Brits may not 'ever' be able to get them out of power

Exclusive
Starmer says eco mob 'needs to feel the full force of the law' as he slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil

Starmer says eco mob 'needs to feel the full force of the law' as he slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil

The M6

Drivers face misery as major motorway closed for three days next week, sending cars on 90 minute diversion

Kings College Hospital NHS Trust is one of two London Hospitals affected by the hackers

Russian hackers publish NHS patients' details and blood test results online after London hospital cyber attack

Bardia Shojaeifard killed Alfie Lewis

'Outwardly normal' boy, 15, who murdered teenager Alfie Lewis named for first time as judge lifts anonymity

Helicopters, sniffer dogs and 4x4s have been deployed in the search for Jay Slater.

Helicopters and sniffer dogs deployed as Spanish authorities focus on new terrain in search for missing Jay Slater

Former Man United footballer Nicky Butt sentenced after breaking motorcyclist's leg in horror Range Rover crash

Former Man United footballer Nicky Butt sentenced after breaking motorcyclist's leg in horror Range Rover crash