Flames from the explosion in the Gaza Strip on October 27. Photo: Reuters

The Israeli army announced that it is about to expand its ground campaign in the Gaza Strip after significantly increasing the intensity of air strikes targeting the area.

“In recent hours, we have significantly increased air strikes targeting the Gaza Strip,” Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on October 27. “After a series of attacks in recent days, the army will expand the ground battle tonight.”

Rear Admiral Hagari said the IDF “is operating vigorously” on all fronts to accomplish its goals in the conflict with Hamas. “The IDF will continue to attack Gaza City and surrounding areas and continue to call on civilians to evacuate to the southern Gaza Strip,” Mr. Hagari said.

Internet and phone connections in the Gaza Strip were completely interrupted the same day when Israel violently raided the area. The Hamas group accused Israel of doing this “to carry out massacres through retaliatory raids in the air, on land and at sea.”

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported losing contact with the operations room in the Gaza Strip and all teams operating there. The organization expressed serious concerns about the ability to continue to provide health services and the safety of its staff.

Israel concentrated more than 300,000 soldiers with tanks, armored vehicles and heavy combat vehicles near the Gaza Strip, preparing for a large-scale campaign against the area. The IDF has repeatedly stated that the ground offensive campaign can help them achieve their goal of “eliminating Hamas” despite the risk of heavy casualties.

The IDF recently launched local attacks against the Gaza Strip, including lightning attacks against the northern and central regions of the region. Israel said it targeted Hamas positions in these attacks and prepared for a larger-scale operation against the Gaza Strip.

Source: Times of Israel