Israel Defense Forces issued a short statement confirming that troops were on the ground, with more details to follow. In a new statement also released at about 1 a.m. local time Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the military operation will continue as long as it takes to restore law and order to the cities of Israel.
The Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 25 combatants in the Gaza Strip, most of which are affiliated with Hamas but also with Islamic Jihad, a smaller Palestinian militant group.
The Israel Defense Forces launched a massive bombardment on a large number of targets in the northern Gaza Strip shortly around midnight on Thursday, using both ground and air forces, the military said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to exact a “very heavy price” from Hamas, the Gaza-ruling terror group which has fired some 1,750 projectiles at Israel since Monday afternoon.