The Israeli army announced an increase in air strikes on the Gaza Strip to prepare the best conditions for a ground attack campaign.
“We will enter the next phase of the war under the best conditions, not according to what others say. Israel is increasing air strikes to minimize danger. We will step up our blows.” raid and call on Gaza City residents to continue evacuating south to ensure safety,” Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Daniel Hagari said on October 21.
Many Israeli military commanders on the same day visited front-line units to check combat readiness.
“We will enter Gaza. It is a densely populated area; the enemy has prepared a lot of things there, but we are also ready to respond. This combat mission will take place professionally, aimed at destroying Human resources and infrastructure of Hamas,” Israeli Army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said while inspecting an infantry brigade deployed near the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s airstrike campaign on the Gaza Strip has so far killed more than 4,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians.
Israeli officials last week asked more than a million residents in northern Gaza City to move south, believing that Hamas leaders and infrastructure are concentrated in this area. However, hundreds of thousands of people still cling to Gaza City and surrounding areas.
After Hamas launched a large-scale attack on Israel on October 7, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government launched a military response campaign and a comprehensive blockade of the Gaza Strip, including cutting off electricity, water, and energy supplies and border blockade.
Israel claims the blockade measures are necessary to “eliminate Hamas” and ensure national security. However, the international community criticized this as an act of “collective punishment,” threatening civilians and risking causing a humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip.
Twenty trucks managed by the Egyptian Red Crescent organization on October 21 passed through the Rafah border gate into the Gaza Strip. This is the first aid shipment to arrive in the area after nearly two weeks of conflict.