Israel’s Defense Minister Urges Troops to Prepare for Gaza Infiltration

Gaza Strip

Israel has launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, including in the south where Palestinians were advised to take refuge. The defense minister has instructed ground troops to be ready to invade, though he did not specify when. Gaza’s hospitals are struggling to stretch out medical supplies and fuel for generators, while authorities work out logistics for aid delivery from Egypt. The Israeli military has relentlessly attacked Gaza in retaliation for a Hamas rampage in southern Israel almost two weeks ago.

Palestinian militants fired rockets into Israel from Gaza and Lebanon, and tensions flared in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant urged the forces to “get organized, be ready” for an order to move in, stating that it might take a week, a month, or two months until Israel destroys Hamas. Israel’s approval for Egypt to provide food, water, and medicine has opened the door for an opening in Gaza’s sealing off, causing many residents to rely on dirty water.

The Gaza-Gaza border crossing in Rafah has closed, causing severe conditions at Gaza’s second-largest hospital, Nasser Hospital. Power has been shut off in most departments to save it for intensive care and other vital functions, and staff members are using mobile phones for light. At least 80 wounded civilians and 12 dead flooded into the hospital Thursday morning after a strike hit a residential building in Khan Younis.

The Gaza Health Ministry pleaded with gas stations to give whatever fuel they had left to hospitals, and the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees gave some of its last remaining fuel supplies to Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital. The Gaza Health Ministry reported 3,785 deaths in Gaza since the war began, with the majority of them being women, children, and older adults. Nearly 12,500 people were injured, and another 1,300 were believed to be buried under the rubble.

Over 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, mostly civilians slain during Hamas’ deadly incursion on October 7. More than 1 million Palestinians, roughly half of Gaza’s population, have fled their homes since Israel told them to evacuate. The deal to get aid into Gaza through Rafah remains fragile, with Israel stating the supplies could only go to civilians in southern Gaza and thwarting any diversions by Hamas.

Over 200 trucks and 3,000 tons of aid were positioned near Rafah, according to Khalid Zayed, the head of the Red Crescent for North Sinai. Under an agreement between the United Nations, Israel, and Egypt, U.N. observers will inspect aid trucks before entering Gaza, ensuring aid goes to civilians. A U.N. flag will be raised on both sides for protection against airstrikes. The crossing’s capacity is unclear, and repairs to damaged roads have not begun. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that foreigners and dual nationals seeking to leave would be allowed out of Gaza as long as the crossing is operating normally and the facility has been repaired.

The Israeli military reported the killing of a top Palestinian militant in Rafah and hitting hundreds of targets across Gaza, including tunnel shafts, intelligence infrastructure, and command centers. The Israeli military has accused Hamas militants of taking shelter among the civilian population, leaving Palestinians feeling in constant danger. Emergency crews rushed to rescue survivors from a crushed apartment building in Khan Younis, where many residents were trapped under twisted bed frames, broken furniture, and cement chunks. Gaza’s Hamas-led government said several bakeries were hit in the overnight strikes, making it harder for residents to get food.

Violence was also escalating in the West Bank, where Israel carried out a rare airstrike targeting militants in the Nur Shams refugee camp. Israeli troops raided a Palestinian camp, killing six Palestinians and wounding ten officers. Hezbollah militants fired missiles into northern Israel, hitting a kibbutz. Israeli troops responded with shelling on border areas in Lebanon and 30 rockets from southern Lebanon towards Israeli towns. No injuries were reported.

Arab-Israeli conflict.GazaGaza StripGaza–IsraelGaza–Israel conflictHamasHamas-Israel ConflictIsraelIsrael's Defense Minister Urges Troops to Prepare for Gaza InfiltrationPalestine