Thursday, December 7, 2023

Hamas vows 'full force', Israel says troops still on the ground in Gaza

Hamas vows 'full force', Israel says troops still on the ground in Gaza
October 28, 2023 Web Desk

GAZA (Reuters) - Hamas pledged to confront Israeli attacks with 'full force' after Israel's military widened its air and ground attacks on the Palestinian enclave, suggesting on Saturday that a long promised ground offensive had begun.

Israel said on Saturday morning its troops, sent in on Friday night, were still on the ground. The country had earlier made only brief sorties into Gaza during three weeks of bombardment to root out Hamas militants who killed more than 1,400 Israelis on Oct. 7. "The forces are still in the field and continuing the war," Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told a news briefing on Saturday morning.

Gaza was under an almost complete blackout, with internet and phone services cut for more than 12 hours by Saturday morning. Telecoms firms and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said it was the result of Israeli bombardments.

The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the blackout was 'making it impossible' for ambulances to reach the injured in Gaza.

"Evacuation of patients is not possible under such circumstances, nor to find safe shelter," he said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. He said also the WHO was not able to contact its staff and health facilities.

The Palestinian militant group that rules Gaza said its fighters were clashing with Israeli troops in areas near the border with Israel.