Israeli soldiers and tanks at a location in the northern Gaza Strip in an image released by the country's military on November 5. Photo: AFP

Israel said its army’s ground campaign had cut Gaza into two parts but still allowed civilians to evacuate the north.

“Today, Gaza has been divided into northern and southern parts,” Daniel Hagari, spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said on November 5, adding that the Golani Brigade’s reconnaissance unit has reached the Mediterranean coast and is holding this position.

The Golani Brigade is the unit that entered the central Gaza Strip to form an attack to cut this territory in half. As the brigade advanced toward the Mediterranean, the Israeli army formed a complete pincer position to completely encircle Gaza City, the largest city in the northern strip.

According to Mr. Hagari, the IDF continues to conduct large-scale raids on Gaza in the war with Hamas, the force that controls the area. Israeli media reported that Israeli soldiers may advance into Gaza City in the next 48 hours.

CNN quoted IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus as saying Israel “ceased fire for many hours on November 4 and 5 in some areas in northern Gaza and called on Palestinian civilians to move south.”

The IDF has blockaded and raided Gaza since October 7 in response to a Hamas raid in the south of the country that caused large casualties. The ground attack campaign has been stepped up since October 27, when Israel increased air strikes and sent soldiers and tanks into the Gaza Strip, focusing on targeting Hamas’s infrastructure.

Israeli army announces cutting Gaza in half

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, on November 5, met with relatives of Israeli hostages captured by Hamas. He said Hamas is suffering a heavy blow, and the pressure created by the IDF is also aimed at rescuing hostages.

Previously, Mr. Gallant affirmed on November 4 that Israel would continue its operations in Gaza until victory. “After the war, there will no longer be any threat in Gaza that can threaten Israel on its southern border,” according to the Israeli Defense Minister.

Fighting between Hamas and Israel has left more than 11,000 people dead and more than 31,000 injured as of November 5. United Nations officials warn that the humanitarian situation is getting worse in Gaza, while many countries and organizations around the world call for a humanitarian ceasefire.