At night the IDF troops continued their invasion of the Gaza Strip from north, Beit Hanun, and from south-east, Han-Yunis. According to Israeli mass media the operation involves IDF tank, artillery, infantry and engineer units supported by aircraft from the sky and by warships from the sea. According to Israeli TV Channel 10 a main goal of the ground phase is to divide the Gaza Strip into three parts to make it impossible to deliver ammunitions from one part to the other. At the same time it is reported that Israel is not going to occupy the Gaza Strip or establish a military regime there. It is emphasized that the operation is aimed exclusively against Hamas and infrastructure of terror.
According to the Israeli Defense Ministry the ground phase in the Gaza Strip “will last for many days”. The IDF press-release also says that it is not aimed against peaceful civilians but “everybody, who provides a shelter to terrorists or stores arms, will be considered a terrorist”.
Meanwhile the first victims of the ground phase are peaceful civilians – one kid was killed by a tank shell that hit a residential house, and 11 civilians were wounded.
As of the present time, it became known that during the night operation in the Gaza Strip 30 IDF soldiers were wounded. Totally during eight days of hostilities in the Gaza Strip 457 people were killed, including 75 children and 37 women, and more than 2,300 wounded.