Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
IDF tanks and soldiers at a staging area near the Israeli-Gaza border, October 24, 2023.

Israel Defense Forces on Friday evening significantly expanded its limited incursions into Gaza, each time entering the territory, carrying out various missions, and exiting the territory within hours. The operations continued during the day on Saturday as well.

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Israeli infantry forces and tanks entered northern Gaza as far as a kilometer in further preparation for a full-scale invasion to eliminate the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization.

“These activities are being supported by precise and heavy fire,” IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said in a video update released Saturday night.

The objectives of the operation, Halevi said, are “dismantling Hamas, security our borders and above all the supreme effort to return the hostages home.”

Those objectives, the IDF chief of staff emphasized, “require a ground operation,” and he noted, “every victory comes with a price.”

Halevi added that the IDF is “following regional developments and are prepared for any scenario,” in what appeared to be a reference to recent multiple attacks on US forces in Syria and Iraq, as well as attempted long-range aerial attacks on Israel by Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.

Likewise, on Israel’s northern border, Halevi said the IDF is at a “very high level of readiness in order to prevent and thwart Hezbollah’s attempts to harm Israeli civilians or soldiers.”

The IDF has blocked multiple such attempts by Hezbollah operatives, including ongoing numerous anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) attacks on IDF soldiers and Israeli communities.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.