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Hamas claims in ground battles with Israeli troops

Hamas claims in ground battles with Israeli troops

The armed wing of Hamas reported late Friday that they were engaging in a battle with Israeli forces within Gaza, following Israel’s announcement of an expansion in its ground operations against the Palestinian militant group in the region.

“We are confronting an Israeli ground incursion in Beit Hanoun (in the northern Gaza Strip) and in east Bureij (in the center) and violent engagements are taking place on the ground,” stated the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

Israeli military spokesman Major Nir Dinar confirmed that their troops were operating inside Gaza, as they had done the previous day.

Hamas had previously stated they were “ready” for an invasion after Israeli air strikes severely disrupted communications throughout the densely populated Gaza Strip, which had already endured nearly three weeks of bombardment.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades later reported responding with “salvos of rockets” on Telegram.

Hamas alleged that all internet connections and communications across Gaza had been severed, accusing Israel of taking this action “to perpetrate massacres with bloody retaliatory strikes from the air, land and sea.”

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that ambulance services had been severely disrupted, losing contact with their operations room in Gaza.

Israel had heavily bombarded Gaza since Hamas fighters breached the border on October 7, resulting in 1,400 deaths, mostly civilians, and over 220 kidnappings, according to Israeli sources.

Hamas’ health ministry claimed that Israeli strikes on Gaza had now resulted in 7,326 deaths, primarily civilians, including many children.

Following the reports of ground fighting, the UN General Assembly, with a large majority, called for an “immediate humanitarian truce” in Gaza.

The nonbinding resolution, which was criticized by Israel and the United States for not mentioning Hamas, received 120 votes in favor, 14 against, and 45 abstentions.

Hamas welcomed the General Assembly’s call, while Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, called it an “infamy.”

The White House announced earlier that the United States supports a “humanitarian pause” to allow aid into Gaza.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that Gaza was facing “an unprecedented avalanche of human suffering” due to the lack of food, water, and power during Israeli bombing in response to the October 7 attack.

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