Movements of military armored vehicles and battle tanks have increased around Gaza, awaiting a possible large-scale Israeli ground invasion into the enclave, where Israeli bombardment has not stopped for more than a million people were called to evacuate the south.
“We are deployed and strongly prepared for the next stages of the war,” Hagari said after a week of fighting, after Israel managed to expel Hamas militants from its territory, to proceed to the next stage, with in the largest bombardment ever experienced in Gaza.
Israel has deployed at least 35 battalions in the border area with the Strip in the north, ready to intensify the offensive, and there is a constant bustle of tanks, armored personnel carriers, bulldozers, tankers and artillery jeeps.
“Supported by an extensive logistics effort and hundreds of thousands of conscripted reservists, troops are currently preparing to execute a wide range of offensive operational plans, which may include joint and coordinated attacks from air, sea and land.” , the Army reported in its latest statement.
Gaza, forced into the largest displacement in its recent history
Earlier this Saturday afternoon, the Israeli Army’s final ultimatum for Gaza civilians to flee to the south ended, threatening to “attack with all its forces,” warned military spokesman Daniel Hagari.
The appeal affected 1.1 million people – almost half of Gaza’s population – the largest human displacement within the Gaza Strip.
In a few hours, the Gaza coastal road and Salahedin Avenue, the main arteries that run through the Strip from north to south, are filled with hundreds of thousands of people heading to the southern area after leaving everything and to take some things, with great confusion and not knowing where to go or where to find shelter.
Among the evacuees are the elderly, people with disabilities, children and other vulnerable people.
The Government of Israel has imposed a complete siege on Gaza, prohibiting access to food, fuel, electricity or any other supplies. Hospitals do not have medicines or basic health products, and many centers welcome evacuees hoping not to be attacked.