Jerusalem, Oct 13 (EFE).- The Israeli army on Friday conducted localized raids inside Gaza in an attempt to find hostages being held in the Strip and attack Palestinian militants in the area, a military spokesman said.
“Over the past day, the army conducted raids into Gaza Strip territory to eliminate the threat of terrorists and weapons in the area, and to locate hostages,” the army said, adding that Israeli troops targeted militia groups and their infrastructure, while also coming under anti-tank missile fire as Israeli fighter jets bombed the area.
The soldiers, the statement said, “searched for and gathered evidence” as part of efforts to locate at least 130 hostages that Palestinian militants kidnapped on Oct. 7 during Hamas’ ground assault against southern Israeli communities bordering the Strip.
At the same time, during their raids the military “dismantled terrorist cells and infrastructures located in the area”, one of which “fired anti-tank missiles into Israeli territory”. They were immediately attacked by the Israeli air force.
The raids come on a day in which Hamas said that 13 of the hostages were killed in the intense Israeli air strikes that have already resulted in 1,800 dead in Gaza, devastating civilian infrastructure and residential properties to an unprecedented extent.
The enclave has been left on the verge of humanitarian collapse due to the destruction and the total siege Israel has imposed in recent days.
For days, the Israeli government has been preventing access to food, water, fuel, electricity and any type of supplies inside Gaza, as well as vetoing the entry of humanitarian aid into the enclave from the border with Egypt.
Hospitals are facing a situation of maximum emergency due to the shortage of medical supplies and basic sanitary products.
There are at least 6,600 wounded in Gaza, while the Israeli army on Friday gave an ultimatum to the Strip and urged its civilian population in the north and Gaza City to head south.
This could lead to the displacement of more than 1.1 million Gazans, around half of Gaza’s population, which the UN has said is currently “impossible”.
Thousands of people were evacuating throughout the day along Salahedin Avenue, the main artery running north-south through Gaza.
There are also more than 423,000 people displaced in UNRWA schools and mosques, while many men have been sleeping on the streets as women and children remain inside crowded buildings, a resident of southern Gaza told EFE. EFE