Hamas says ‘ready’ for Israel invasion of Gaza

GAZA STRIP: Hamas mentioned on Friday it was “prepared” for an invasion of Gaza as Israel mentioned it was “extending” its floor operation after air strikes minimize communications throughout the shattered Palestinian territory.
“Following the sequence of strikes of the final days, the bottom forces are extending the bottom operation tonight,” army spokesman Daniel Hagari instructed reporters after two straight nights of tank incursions into the Gaza Strip.
A prime Hamas official mentioned it was “prepared” for an Israeli floor invasion.
“If (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu decides to enter Gaza tonight, the resistance is prepared,” mentioned Ezzat al-Rishaq, a senior member of the Hamas political bureau, on Telegram social media.
“The stays of his troopers might be swallowed up by the land of Gaza.”
Israel’s army mentioned it had elevated its strikes “in a really important manner”, as AFP dwell footage captured intense bombardment of northern Gaza.
Air strike after air strike lit up the night time sky as thick black smoke clouded the horizon.
Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, mentioned on its Telegram channel it responded with “salvos of rockets”.
Hamas mentioned all web connections and communications throughout Gaza had been minimize, and accused Israel of taking the measure “to perpetrate massacres with bloody retaliatory strikes from the air, land and sea”.
The Palestinian Crimson Crescent Society mentioned ambulance providers had been disrupted.
“We have now fully misplaced contact with the operations room within the Gaza Strip and all our groups working there,” it mentioned on X, previously Twitter.
Hamas referred to as on the world to “act instantly” to cease Israel attacking Gaza.
Israel has closely bombarded Gaza since Hamas gunmen stormed throughout the border on October 7, killing 1,400 individuals, principally civilians, and kidnapping over 220 others, in keeping with Israeli officers.
The Hamas-run well being ministry mentioned Friday Israeli strikes on Gaza had now killed 7,326 individuals, primarily civilians and plenty of of them youngsters.
The White Home mentioned the US backs a “humanitarian pause” so assist can get into Gaza.
“We might help humanitarian pauses for stuff getting in, in addition to for individuals getting out, and that features pushing for gasoline to get in and for the restoration {of electrical} energy,” Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby mentioned.
UN Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres warned that Gaza faces “an unprecedented avalanche of human struggling” due to the shortage of meals, water and energy throughout Israeli bombing in response to the October 7 assault.
“I repeat my name for a humanitarian ceasefire, the unconditional launch of all hostages, and the supply of life-saving provides,” Guterres mentioned in a press release.
“Distress is rising by the minute. With no elementary change, the individuals of Gaza will face an unprecedented avalanche of human struggling.”
The UN company for Palestinian refugees had earlier warned that “many extra will die” in Gaza from catastrophic shortages after practically three weeks of bombardment by Israel.
The UN human rights workplace additionally raised the alarm over “struggle crimes” being dedicated because the Israel-Hamas battle raged for a twenty first day.
Concern is rising about regional fallout from the battle, with the US warning Iran in opposition to escalation whereas hanging amenities in Syria it says have been utilized by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and others.
Israel’s army accused Hamas of utilizing hospitals in Gaza as operations centres for guiding assaults, an allegation Hamas swiftly denied.
“Hamas wages struggle from hospitals,” within the territory, Hagari mentioned, and alleged the group was additionally utilizing gasoline saved in these amenities for its operations.
A senior Hamas official mentioned the allegation had “no foundation in fact”.
Israel has minimize provides of meals, water and energy to Gaza, notably blocking all deliveries of gasoline saying it will be exploited by Hamas to fabricate weapons and explosives.
“Individuals in Gaza are dying, they don’t seem to be solely dying from bombs and strikes, quickly many extra will die from the results of (the) siege,” mentioned Philippe Lazzarini, chief of the UN company for Palestinian refugee (UNRWA).
“Primary providers are crumbling, drugs is operating out, meals and water are operating out, the streets of Gaza have began overflowing with sewage,” he mentioned of the densely populated territory the place 45 p.c of housing is reported to have been broken or destroyed.
In Geneva, the UN human rights workplace raised the alarm over struggle crimes, saying “the atrocious assaults by Hamas… amounted to struggle crimes” but in addition pointing to Israel’s Gaza bombardment.
A primary tranche of critically wanted assist was allowed in on the weekend, however since then solely 74 vans have crossed. Earlier than the battle, the UN says a median of 500 vans entered Gaza every single day.
“These few vans are nothing greater than crumbs that won’t make a distinction,” Lazzarini mentioned, insisting Gaza wanted a “significant and uninterrupted assist move” and a “humanitarian ceasefire to make sure this assist reaches these in want”.
His phrases echoed a name from EU leaders on Thursday for “continued, speedy, secure and unhindered humanitarian entry and assist”.
A primary group of six medics from the Worldwide Committee of the Crimson Cross entered Gaza Friday through its Rafah crossing with Egypt, together with six assist vans, the ICRC mentioned.
Between the bombardments and the gasoline shortages, 12 of Gaza’s 35 hospitals have been pressured to shut, and UNRWA mentioned it has needed to “considerably cut back its operations”.
With tens of 1000’s of Israeli troops massed alongside the Gaza border forward of a extensively anticipated floor offensive, the military mentioned it had staged one other temporary floor incursion into Gaza on Thursday night time, the second in as many days.
Hamas mentioned Israel had additionally tried to stage “a large-scale amphibious operation” on the coast across the southern city of Rafah but it surely had been thwarted.
Israel confirmed the daybreak operation, saying troops had struck “Hamas army infrastructure and… a compound” utilized by militants.
The military additionally up to date to 229 the variety of hostages held by Hamas, a lot of whom maintain overseas passports, with their households frantic about their destiny.
“I’ve by no means felt such a sense of helplessness,” mentioned 23-year-old Ella Ben Ami whose mother and father have been kidnapped. With recurring nightmares each single night time, she says she feels “just like the dwelling lifeless”.
Militants additionally fired rockets on Friday in the direction of Tel Aviv. One struck town, wounding three individuals, medics mentioned.
Violence has additionally risen sharply within the occupied West Financial institution for the reason that October 7 assaults, with greater than 100 Palestinians killed and over 1,900 wounded.
One other 4 Palestinians have been killed Friday throughout Israeli raids within the northern cities of Jenin and Qalqilya, the well being ministry mentioned.

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