The Israeli government has concentrated thousands of soldiers on the border after the attack launched by Hamas on October 7.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told troops on the ground that they were ready to enter the Gaza Strip, although he did not say when the invasion would begin.
In a meeting with Israeli infantry soldiers on the Gaza border on Thursday, Yoav Gallant urged the forces to “organize and prepare” to receive an order to enter.
“Anyone who sees Gaza from afar now sees it from the inside,” he said. “I promise you”.
Israel has concentrated thousands of soldiers on the border after an attack launched by Hamas on October 7 that sparked the fifth war between the two sides.
Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes hit locations across the Gaza Strip on Thursday, including parts of the south that Israel has declared safe zones, raising fears for more than 2 million Palestinians trapped in the territory. There is no safe place.
The Israeli military has been relentlessly attacking Gaza in retaliation for a devastating Hamas attack in southern Israel nearly two weeks ago.
Even after Israel told Palestinians to evacuate northern Gaza and seek refuge in the south, attacks spread throughout the territory, and Palestinian militants continued to fire rockets into Israel.
Israel’s permission for Egypt to allow food, water, and medicine provided the first possibility of opening the territory it had sealed.
Many of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents eat only once in a while and drink dirty water.
Israel does not list fuel as an allowed item, but a senior Egyptian security official said Egypt negotiated the entry of fuel for hospitals. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
Because the Egypt-Gaza border is still closed in Rafah, the already serious situation in the second-largest hospital in Gaza has worsened, said Dr. Mohammed Qandeel at Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis. Power has been cut in most departments to reserve it for intensive care and other essential functions, and staff are using mobile phones for lighting.
Gaza’s Health Ministry is appealing to gas stations to donate leftover fuel to hospitals. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, is delivering some of the remaining fuel reserves to hospitals, according to spokeswoman Juliette Touma.
The agency’s donation to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the largest in the territory, “will keep us going for a few more hours,” the hospital’s director, Mohammed Abu Selmia, told the AP agency.
Gaza’s Health Ministry says 3,785 people have died in Gaza since the war began, most of them women, children, and the elderly. Nearly 12,500 people were injured, and another 1,300 were believed to be buried under the rubble, health authorities said.
In Israel, more than 1,400 Israelis were killed, most of them civilians, during a deadly attack by Hamas on October 7. About 200 people were kidnapped.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in Israel on Thursday in an attempt to express solidarity after the Hamas attack and prevent an escalation of the war.
The people of Israel “suffered a terrible, unspeakable act of terrorism, and I want you to know that the United Kingdom and I are with you,” he said as he arrived.