Israeli Tanks and Troops Briefly Enter Gaza During Raid

The Israeli military said the purpose of the raid was to 'prepare the battlefield' as a full-scale invasion is expected

The Israeli military said Thursday that Israeli tanks and troops briefly entered the Gaza Strip overnight in a limited raid to “prepare the battlefield” as Israel is expected to launch a full-scale invasion soon.

The military said the raiding force engaged with Hamas fighters and took out anti-tank weapons during the raid, which only lasted a few hours. Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the troops operated within one kilometer of the border and that no Israeli soldiers were hurt.

“Through the raid, we eliminated terrorists, neutralized threats, dismantled explosives, neutralized ambushes, in order to enable the next stages of the war for the ground forces,” Hagari said.

The raid came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel would launch a ground incursion into Gaza but did not say when. Media reports have said that Israel agreed to delay the invasion until the US is able to deploy more air defenses to the region, as the US is expecting a significant escalation of attacks on its troops.

Israeli airstrikes continue to pound Gaza as the situation is getting increasingly more desperate for civilians in the besieged enclave. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, over 7,000 people have been killed in the bombardment, including nearly 3,000 children.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.