Israeli tanks roll into Gaza overnight in 'targeted raid', after Benjamin Netanyahu vows all Hamas fighters are 'doomed'

26 October 2023, 06:54

Israel launched a 'targeted raid' of Gaza overnight
Israel launched a 'targeted raid' of Gaza overnight. Picture: Twitter/Getty

By Kit Heren

Israel has carried out a "targeted raid" of Gaza overnight after Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to crush Hamas.

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The Israel Defence Forces said its tanks and ground soldiers targeted Hamas infrastructure in northern Gaza in preparation for the "next stages of combat".

The troops have since left Gaza and returned to Israel.

Sharing video of the operation, the army said: "In preparation for the next stages of combat, the IDF operated in northern Gaza.

"IDF tanks & infantry struck numerous terrorist cells, infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts.

"The soldiers have since exited the area and returned to Israeli territory."

Read more: 'All Hamas fighters are doomed' vows Benjamin Netanyahu as he promises Israel is preparing ground invasion of Gaza

Read more: Off-duty British-Israeli soldier threw back 7 Hamas grenades to defend festival-goers, before one blew up in his hand

It comes after the Israeli prime minister vowed to "do away with Hamas by destroying its military and governmental capabilities and to do everything within our power to return our hostages back home".

"All Hamas militants are doomed, above the earth, underground, within Gaza, and outside of Gaza," Mr Netanyahu said on Wednesday evening.

However, he made no mention of when the awaited invasion would begin. There has been no official word on why the attack has not yet happened.

He instead said that it is "getting prepared" and that it was right certain details and conditions about the offensive should not be made public.

Israel continues to deploy soldiers, tanks and armored vehicles near the Gaza borde
Israel continues to deploy soldiers, tanks and armored vehicles near the Gaza borde. Picture: Getty

It has been reported that Joe Biden has been pressing Israel to hold off an invasion to secure the release of hostages, which included dual nationals of various countries.

Five Brits remain missing and it is feared they are being held by Hamas.

There are also concerns about US troops coming under attack, with 30 American soldiers having suffered minor injuries from drone and rocket attacks on bases in Iraq and Syria this month.

"I want to make it very clear, the timing of the operation of the IDF is unanimously determined by the cabinet that runs the war along with the chief of the general staff," Mr Netanyahu said.

"We work in order to secure the best optimal conditions for their next operations."

Thousands of people in Gaza have been killed or wounded
Thousands of people in Gaza have been killed or wounded. Picture: Getty

Hundreds of thousands of reservists have been called up ahead of an expected invasion, which will see Israeli Defence Forces troops enter the dense urban environment of Gaza.

Hamas has also dug an extensive tunnel network dubbed the Gaza metro. Israel has been pummelling the strip, leading to thousands of deaths there.

There are also fears Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese militia, could enter the war in the north, forcing Israel onto a two front battle.

Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu. Picture: Alamy

Houthi rebels in Yemen - a third group of fighters which, like Hamas and Hezbollah, are heavily tied with Iran - have also fired missiles towards the state.

Hezbollah held talks on Wednesday with senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad members.

The US has an aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean to deter any other threats to Israel. Britain has also deployed two ships to the region.

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