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HomeworldIsrael shows images of tanks in Gaza as war on Hamas militants...

Israel shows images of tanks in Gaza as war on Hamas militants deepens

JERUSALEM: Israel signalled intent to encircle Gaza’s main city on Sunday (Oct 29), publishing pictures of battle tanks on the Palestinian enclave’s western coast 48 hours after ordering expanded ground incursions across its eastern border.

Israel’s self-declared “second phase” of a three-week war against Iranian-backed Hamas militants had initially been kept from public view, with forces moving under darkness and a telecommunications blackout cutting off Palestinians.

The phone and internet cuts appeared to be easing on Sunday, according to Gaza residents. But they have severely hampered rescue operations for casualties of Israeli barrages wreaking destruction, especially on northern Gaza City, site of Hamas’ government and command centres.

As well as the Israeli military’s pictures of tanks, some images online appeared to show Israeli soldiers waving an Israeli flag deep inside Gaza.

Reuters could not verify those images.

Hamas said it was firing mortars against Israeli forces in north Gaza and had hit Israeli tanks with missiles, belittling reports of deep advances by its enemy.

“Israel cut us off from the world in order to wipe us out, but we are hearing the sounds of explosions and we are proud the resistance fighters have stopped them at metres distance,” said Shaban Ahmed, a public servant who stayed in Gaza City despite an Israeli warning to evacuate south.

Ahmed said he only found out on Sunday that his cousin had died in an air strike two days previously due to the blackout.

Israeli Defence Force (IDF) fighter jets struck over 450 Hamas targets, including operational command centres, look-out posts, and anti-tank missile launch posts, in the last 24 hours, the military said on Sunday.

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