IDF continues preparations for ground invasion

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The Israeli Defense Forces is continuing preparations for an offensive in Gaza, including for ground operations, it said in a statement Saturday.

The IDF said plans for “expanded operational activities” had been approved recently and that both regular and reserve service members were being deployed and were conducting training exercises.

“We will achieve what is required with the spirit of battle and determination in order to bring security to our people for many years to come,” said IDF LTC Or Volozhinsky, commander of the 188th Armored Brigade.

Israel last week warned Palestinians in Gaza to evacuate the northern area of the strip ahead of a potential ground invasion, leading to the displacement of many residents to southern Gaza.

Aid deliveries began moving Saturday into the territory, where water, food and medicine have been in short supply.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Saturday called for protection of civilians and the sparing of civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, and U.N. premises, from Israeli bombardment.

Hamas’ “reprehensible assault” on Israel “can never justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people,” Guterres said at a summit Egypt is hosting on the Israel-Gaza war.

Guterres pointed to the “the wider context” of war, saying that the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “the only realistic foundation for a true peace and stability,” according to the Associated Press.

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