Israel dispatched ground forces to attack the Gaza Strip in the early hours of the 14th. At the same time, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu declared that Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip will last as long as it will take.
The air strikes in the previous four days failed to quell the violent rocket attacks from Gaza. Israel ignored the international community’s call for restraint and dispatched fighter jets and tanks to continue its attack on Friday (May 14).
Destroyed multiple facilities in Hamas with more than a thousand bombs and shells
The Israeli Ministry of Defense stated in the early morning of the 14th that the Israeli army used 160 fighters and launched 450 missiles to completely destroy Hamas’ underground transportation system in the Gaza Strip. Subsequently, the Israeli army also bombed Hamas’s weapons depots, rocket launch sites and other facilities. During the entire night of military operations, the Israeli army fired more than 1,000 bombs and artillery shells into the Gaza Strip.
An Israeli spokesperson said that although ground forces participated in the offensive that lasted 40 minutes before dawn, the army did not enter Gaza. Army spokesman Kong Ricks confirmed on the 14th: “At present, there are no ground forces in Gaza.”
Earlier on the 14th, the Israel Defense Forces issued a statement stating that it had sent ground troops into the Gaza Strip to launch an attack. The outside world generally believed that this marked a full-scale escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, about an hour after the statement was issued, the Israeli army contacted the media to withdraw the previous statement and clarified that “there is no ground force in the Gaza Strip.” The reason for the previous misinformation was “internal communication error.”
According to reports, as of the 13th, the Israeli army has deployed as many as 9,000 reserve soldiers on the border of the Gaza Strip and may launch a full-scale offensive at any time. Some media analysts said that the Israeli army is still preparing for the tanks, artillery shells, and soldiers needed for the offensive and will not enter the Gaza Strip in a short period of time.
The Minister of Health of Gaza said that since the conflict between the two sides on the 10th, at least 119 Palestinians have died, of which 31 were children, 19 were women, and 830 were injured. Hundreds of buildings in Gaza were damaged or destroyed. Health officials in northern Gaza said the remains of a woman and her three children were found in the ruins of a house.
Eight people died in Israel. One of the deceased was a Border Patrolman, six were civilians, and the other was an Indian worker.
An Israeli military spokesman said on the 14th that the military operations over the past few days have destroyed more than a thousand Hamas military facilities, including the intelligence headquarters and the residences of several organizational commanders.
Yesterday, after the Israeli attack, the southern area of Israel was hit by rockets. The Hamas military organization “Kasan Brigade” fired back 50 rockets to Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba and Sderot in Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu warned on the 13th that the army’s actions “will continue for some time.” Israeli officials said Hamas must be hit hard before the ceasefire.
The two parties in the conflict were caught in the fiercest exchange of fire in 2014 on the 10th. Hamas, which controls Gaza, fired rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in retaliation for the clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians near the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The Israel Defense Forces stated that since the escalation of the conflict, militants in the Gaza Strip have launched about 1,800 rockets into Israeli cities, most of which were intercepted by the Israeli air defense system.