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Day 20: In limited overnight operation, IDF sends tanks and infantry into Gaza Strip

Targeted raids intended to prepare for ground campaign into Gaza

IDF tanks near the Israel-Gaza border, Oct. 16, 2023. (Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Israel Defense Forces announced this morning that it carried out a limited operation within the Gaza Strip overnight in an effort to prepare the area for the imminent ground invasion.

During the operation, IDF troops targeted and struck several terror outposts, eliminated several terrorists, and destroyed Hamas infrastructure, including anti-tank positions. The troops returned to Israeli territory upon completion of the operation.

Yesterday, the Israel Air Force (IAF) also conducted extensive airstrikes in Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip, an area that Israel has continued to warn Gazans to evacuate, providing safe corridors for their departure.

During the airstrikes, the IAF struck a Hamas command and control center and attempted to destroy some of the tunnel infrastructure used by Hamas.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden again called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the hostage situation.

The White House released a statement saying the two discussed “ongoing efforts to locate and secure the release of hostages to include American citizens we believe are held by Hamas.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday evening that Israel had agreed to delay its ground invasion into Gaza to give the United States more time to reinforce its positions in the Middle East.

U.S. forces have faced several drone and rocket attacks since the beginning of Operation Iron Swords.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog said Israel is giving Hamas an opportunity to release the hostages, although it was not immediately clear if he was referring to the delay of the ground campaign.

“Israel is giving an opportunity for the hostages to be released. We are obviously calling for the immediate unconditional release of all of them,” Herzog told Army Radio.

Israel's Haaretz news outlet reported early Thursday morning that hostage negotiators are trying to take advantage of the delay of the ground campaign to achieve the release of more hostages.

The UN General Assembly will convene on Thursday evening for an emergency discussion about the conflict in Gaza.

The session, which was called at the request of Jordan and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, is not expected to address the plight of the hostages in Gaza, nor the ongoing rocket attacks against Israel.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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