Exclusive pictures show Israeli forces engaging Hamas inside Gaza

Behind enemy lines: Exclusive pictures taken by photographer embedded within the IDF show Israeli forces engaging Hamas forces inside shell shocked Gaza

  • Israel’s ground assault in the Palestine territory continues to move to Gaza City 

Exclusive photographs have been released showing the Israeli army’s march through northern Gaza as its ground invasion continues following weeks of shelling.

Troops stationed with the 14th Brigade of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) can be seen engaging with Hamas terrorists in the Palestinian territory, with heavily armed infantry moving through the destroyed remains of large parts of the Gaza. 

They have been joined by tanks tanks and combat engineers, as they search for infrastructure by the terrorist organisation including ammunition and rocket launch pits. 

Dramatic images show the IDF’s custom-made Merkava tanks spewing out gas, while troops walk through the haze left behind on the front line nearly a month on from the start of the conflict.

The pictures were taken by photographer Ziv Koren, who is embedded with the unit and who weeks earlier had documented the aftermath of the horrific massacres carried out by Hamas in southern Israel on October 7.

Israeli soldiers walk along the front line in the Gaza Strip as a tank spews out gas in the background on Monday

Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) gather in a trench with a red flag as the move into the Palestinian territory on Monday

Infantry kneel in a dirt track in northern Gaza on Monday as preparations continue for an assault into Gaza City

Two IDF Merkava tanks move through a field in northern Gaza on Monday after Israel launched ground operations

Soldiers from the IDF’s 14th Brigade peer into Gaza using binoculars from a lookout post on Monday

In recent days Israel has stepped up its operations in the area as it attempts to take the fight to Hamas following the atrocities it committed on October 7, where it killed more than 1,400 innocent civilians across southern Israel in a series of raids.

In the weeks that have followed Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip with air strikes, killing more than 10,000 civilians according the territory’s health ministry, with more than 4,000 of these being children.

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Large parts of northern Gaza have been reduced to rubble in preparation for a ground assault, with IDF troops encircling Gaza City in recent days.

Forces from the Jewish state are expected to move into the densely populated urban area in the coming days as they seek to drive out Hamas and wipe it from the area.

Casualties are expected to rise in urban conflict, with militants likely to fight street-by-street in areas where they’ve had years to prepare and launch ambushes from the vast network of tunnels they have built underneath the city. 

We’re closing in on them,’ said Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, an Israeli military spokesman. ‘We’ve completed our encirclement, separating Hamas strongholds in the north from the south.’

Troops are now expected to enter Gaza City within 48 hours, according to Israeli press – an operation that would mark a new chapter of the conflict which began almost one month ago when Hamas gunmen stormed into Israel and slaughtered 1,400 people.

As IDF troops prepared to enter Gaza City, they took control of a Hamas outpost that contained training grounds, entrances to a network of underground tunnels, and observation post, a spokesperson said.

Israel has told residents living in Gaza City they still have the opportunity to leave with an evacuation route to the south, but many are fearful of doing so due to the amount of IDF troops on the route.

Around 70 per cent of Gaza’s 2.3million residents have fled their homes since the conflict began, with many now sleeping in tents, refugee camps or at the side of the road.

Soldiers walk through smoke as it wafts across the front line in northern Gaza on Monday

A specialised IDF vehicle used for clearing areas with potential mines and explosives moves into Gaza

The view from an Israeli tank as it looks across the smoky battlefield outside Gaza City on Monday

The view from a gunner’s position on a tank as it appears to move through the wall dividing Israel and Gaza

Photographer Ziv Koren has been embedded with teh 14th Brigade after documenting the aftermath of Hamas’s terror attacks on October 7. Pictured: An Israeli flag outside the charred remains of a house in Be’eri kibbutz

An IDF soldier moves through the kibbutz of Kfar Aza after it was attacked by Hamas on October 7

An Israeli soldier cries as he sees a family dining table filled with food after Hamas’s terror attacks in Kfar Aza

Earlier today communications across the territory were gradually restored after being cut off for the third time since the war started.

The developments come as an Israeli strike hit the roof of Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, killing a number of displaced people sheltering on its top floor and destroying solar panels, said the general manager of all hospitals in Gaza. 

The panels have been helping keep the power on at the facility, which has been reduced to using one generator because of lack of fuel.

In the occupied West Bank, more than 140 Palestinians have been killed in violence and Israeli raids. 

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed, most of them in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that started the fighting, and 242 hostages were taken from Israel into Gaza by the militant group.

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Roughly 1,100 people have left the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing since Wednesday under an apparent agreement among the United States, Egypt, Israel and Qatar, which mediates with Hamas.

Earlier today Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the world to back the fight against Hamas, claiming his country is engaged in a ‘global battle’ against an Iran-led ‘axis of terror.’

The 74-year-old world leader said that Israel’s deadliest conflict with Hamas in decades is a ‘broader battle between civilisation and barbarism’ led by Iran, and backed by Hezbollah, Hamas and Houthi rebels.

‘They seek to bring the Middle East and the world back to a dark age. They seek to torpedo, to derail any progress towards peace, and the progress and the promise of peace we had in our budding treaties with our Arab neighbours,’ he claimed in a press conference today.

He warned that if the Middle East ‘falls’ to the warring nations, ‘Europe will be next and no one will be safe.’

‘This is not a local battle. This is a global battle. The paramount need is to defeat this axis. That battle is now being waged by us against Hamas in Gaza.

‘There is no substitute for victory. We will defeat and dismantle Hamas. We will offer the people of Gaza and the entire peoples of the Middle East a real future. A future of promise and hope.

‘But this requires victory. We have the will and we have the power to do so. We will win, and we believe that all civilised powers should back us in this effort, because this battle is your battle, and our victory is your victory’ 

A view of military action at a location given as Gaza, amid the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in this screengrab obtained from a handout video released on November 6, 2023

A Palestinian man reacts as others check the rubble of a building in Khan Yunis on November 6

This handout picture released by the Israeli army on November 5, 2023, shows Israeli tanks and soldiers stationed at a location in the northern Gaza Strip as battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement continue

This picture taken from a position near Sderot along the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip on November 5, 2023, shows flares dropped by Israeli forces above the Palestinian enclave amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement

Israeli forces are deployed on the border with Gaza in southern Israel on November 5, 2023

At one civilian facility, the Sheikh Hamad, known as the ‘Qatari’ hospital, Hagari showed photo evidence of tunnel entrances alongside the building discovered by Israeli troops

Israeli soldiers take part in a military action at a location given as Gaza, amid the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas

Palestinian children sit in front of the rubble of a destroyed building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 6, 2023

A Palestinian man carries the corpse of a child killed in Israeli bombardment as he leaves the Shuhada Al-Aqsa hospital

Relatives of Palestinians who died in the Israeli airstrikes gather around the bodies taken from the morgue of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital ahead of the funeral ceremony in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza on November 06, 2023

Critics say Israel’s strikes on Gaza are often disproportionate, considering the large number of civilians killed – but IDF spokesperson Jonathan Conricus was resolute in his justification for the brutal assault on the Strip.

‘We will take the fight to Hamas wherever they are – underground, above ground. We will be able to dismantle Hamas, stronghold after stronghold, battalion after battalion, until we achieve the ultimate goal, which is to rid the Gaza Strip – the entire Gaza Strip – of Hamas,’ he said.

Northern Gaza was pounded by incessant Israeli airstrikes overnight Sunday into Monday morning, as the IDF seeks to soften up Hamas strongholds in Gaza City before its soldiers are forced to navigate the perilous streets on foot.

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Israel has accused Hamas of war crimes, revealing new evidence that it says proves the terror group uses hospitals in the Gaza Strip as military bases while preventing civilians from escaping.

At the Sheikh Hamad hospital, known as the ‘Qatari’ hospital, Rear Admiral Hagari showed what he said was photo evidence of tunnel entrances alongside the building discovered by Israeli troops.

Hagari said Hamas operates from within the hospital because they know that the IDF cannot launch an airstrike on them without causing collateral damage.

‘Hamas is weak without human shields,’ he said.

On the ground, Israeli forces in Gaza have reported finding stashes of weapons, at times including explosives, suicide drones and missiles.

The Israeli military said 29 of its soldiers have died during the ground operation so far.

Swathes of residential neighbourhoods in northern Gaza have been levelled in airstrikes.

The UN office for humanitarian affairs says more than half the remaining residents, estimated at around 300,000, are sheltering in UN-run facilities.

The UN said that 88 staff members from its Palestinian refugees agency have been reported killed, ‘the highest number of United Nations fatalities ever recorded in a single conflict’.

About 1.5 million people in Gaza, or 70 per cent of the population, are thought to have fled their homes.

Food, water and the fuel needed for generators that power hospitals are running close to empty because no fuel has come for nearly one month, the UN Palestinian refugee agency said.

Ongoing Palestinian rocket fire has also forced tens of thousands of people in Israel to leave their homes.

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