Israel to 'expand ground operations' into Gaza - IDF

A resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly calling for an "immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce"
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

19.09 27 Oct 2023

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Israel to 'expand ground opera...

Israel to 'expand ground operations' into Gaza - IDF

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

19.09 27 Oct 2023

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Updated: 21.30

Israel is launching ground operations in Gaza tonight after warning residents of Gaza City to move south.

Israel has amassed hundreds of thousands of troops along the border with Gaza ahead of the expected ground offensive.


Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, a spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), said earlier on Friday: "In addition to the attacks that we carried out in recent days, ground forces are expanding their activity this evening.

"The IDF is acting with great force ... to achieve the objectives of the war."

It comes after Israeli forces said they had carried out more raids into Gaza - including a navy operation.

The IDF said troops had used vessels to attack "Hamas military infrastructure", with support from aircraft, along the coast in the southern Gaza Strip last night.

Palestinians inspect the damage of a destroyed building following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City Palestinians inspect the damage of a destroyed building following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City, 19-10-2023. Image: AP Photo/Abed Khaled

Officials released footage of what they said was the raid, but did not go into further details.

The video showed explosions near the sea and soldiers firing their weapons in the dark.

However, Hamas disputed the IDF's version of events in a statement and said its forces had repelled the raiders, Israeli media reported.

According to Gaza authorities, more than 7,300 Palestinians have now been killed in waves of airstrikes by Israel in retaliation for a cross-border massacre carried out by Hamas in the south of the country on October 7th.

Officials said the dead include more than 3,000 children and more than 1,500 women.

'Humanitarian catastrophe'

Ayman Safadi, the Foreign Minister of Israel's neighbour Jordan, said on Friday night that Israel had "just launched a ground war on Gaza".

"[The] outcome will be a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions for years to come," he said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

He called on the United Nations General Assembly to support a vote, put forward by Jordan on behalf of Arab nations, calling for a humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

That resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Friday, calling for an "immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce".

It also demands all parties comply with international humanitarian law and "continuous, sufficient and unhindered" provision of essential supplies and services into the Gaza Strip.

It received 120 votes in favour - including Ireland - 14 against and 45 abstentions.

An amendment, condemning the attack by Hamas and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages, was not approved.

Members of the United Nations General Assembly vote on a resolution at an Emergency Special Session meeting on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Members of the United Nations General Assembly vote on a resolution at an Emergency Special Session meeting on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Image: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned earlier on Friday that the humanitarian system in Gaza was on the verge of "total collapse", and again appealed for greater aid access to the besieged enclave.

"Life-saving humanitarian aid - food, water, medicine, fuel - must be allowed to reach all civilians swiftly, safely and at scale," he said in a statement.

He noted that about 500 trucks per day were crossing into Gaza before the hostilities began, compared to the recent average of 12 trucks per day "despite needs being far greater than at any time before."

climate change UN Secretary-General António Guterres addresses a special session of the General Council of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva. Image: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

However, the supplies that have trickled in do not include fuel for UN operations - essential to power hospitals, water desalination plants, food production and aid distribution.

“Given the desperate and dramatic situation, the United Nations will not be able to continue to deliver inside Gaza without an immediate and fundamental shift in how aid is going in,” Mr Guterres warned.

He called for the verification system for the movement of goods through the Rafah crossing from Egypt to be adjusted to allow many more trucks in without delay.

"We must meet the expectations and core needs of civilians in Gaza," he said.

Mr Guterres welcomed growing global consensus for a humanitarian pause in the conflict.

"I repeat my call for a humanitarian ceasefire, the unconditional release of all hostages, and the delivery of lifesaving supplies at the scale needed," he said.

He warned that without a fundamental change, the people of Gaza will face an unprecedented avalanche of human suffering.

"Everyone must assume their responsibilities. This is a moment of truth. History is judging us all," he added.

Gaza cut-off

The charity ActionAid Ireland said communication has been cut-off with their colleagues in Gaza.

CEO Karol Balfe said such a blackout will cause more suffering.

"We are gravely concerned for their safety and that of all the people of Gaza as signs grow of a major land escalation following almost three weeks of bombardment," she said.

"We urgently call for the restoration of communication channels, as this is not only a matter of principle but also one of practical necessity.

"The blackout isolates the population, making it nearly impossible for them to seek help, share their stories, or maintain contact with loved ones.

"This isolation deepens the suffering of those already enduring a dire humanitarian crisis amidst an increase in the aerial bombardment of civilians.

"A population that has already suffered so much is now under even more threat. We urgently reiterate our calls for a ceasefire," she added.

Israeli forces also said they carried out a separate ground raid in the outskirts of Gaza City on Thursday night, as part of a second wave of recent incursions into the territory.

More than 1,400 people in Israel, mostly civilians, were killed during the initial Hamas attack, according to the Israeli government.

It also said Hamas is holding at least 224 captives inside Gaza.

The overall number of deaths far outstrips the combined total of all four previous conflicts between Israel and Hamas, estimated at around 4,000.

More than one million people in Gaza have fled their homes, with many following Israeli orders to evacuate to the south.

Additional reporting: IRN

Main image: Israeli tanks cross a main road as additional troops are deployed near the border with Gaza on October 12th, 2023 in Sderot, Israel. Image: Eddie Gerald / Alamy Stock Photo

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ActionAid Ireland Antonio Guterres Ayman Safadi Daniel Hagari Gaza Gaza City Israel Israel Defence Forces Jordan Palestine Palestinian UN General Assembly United Nations

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