ISRAELI tanks rolled over the border into Gaza overnight to wipe out Hamas terrorist cells ahead of its planned ground invasion.
The Israeli Defence Forces said tanks and infantry raided “numerous terrorist cells, infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts”.
Footage showed a column of Israeli tanks going over the border into Gaza before firing on a number of targets in built-up areas.
“In preparation for thestages of combat, the IDF operated in northern Gaza,” the IDF said.
“IDF tanks & infantry struck numerous terrorist cells, infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts.
“The soldiers have since exited the area and returned to Israeli territory.”
It’s not the first time Israeli soldiers and tanks have entered Gaza since October 7 – when Hamas gunmen poured into Israel, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping hundreds more.
It’s thought Israel’s invasion of Gaza could begin as early as this week.
The US reportedly made a request for more time to get its defences in place – and PM Benjamin Netanyahu warned “Hamas is doomed”.
Netanyahu claimed troops have already “eliminated thousands of terrorists”.
And he vowed to do everything in histo return hostages back to their families before launching their ground offensive.
Speaking from Tel Aviv, he said: “All Hamas militants are doomed,” adding people are working “around the clock” to wipe out the terrorists.
But the PM refused to provide details of “when and how” the ground offensive will take place.
“I want to make it very clear, the timing of the operation of the IDF is unanimously determined by the cabinet that runs the war along with the chief of the general staff,” he said.
“We work in order to secure the best optimal conditions for their next operations.”
American officials are said to have persuaded IDF forces to hold off until they can deliver air defence systems to the region to protect their troops.
The US is working to get almost a dozen of the advanced air defence systems to the region amid fears of an all-out war, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Officials believe troops could be targeted by other militant groups, as well as Hamas, once‘s long awaited invasion begins.
There are fears among some experts that the regional conflict could spiral out into an all-out world war.
The Sun is your go to destination for the best celebrity news, football news, real-life stories, jaw-dropping pictures and must-see video.
Download our fantastic, new and improved free App for the best ever Sun Online experience. For iPhone click here, for Android click here.
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheSun and follow us from our main Twitter account at @TheSun.