Several loud explosions were seen and heard in Gaza on Friday as Israel prepares for a ground invasion of the Palestinian territory.
The explosions were seen near the border with Gaza in southern Israelwhere Fox News’ Trey Yingst reported live from the scene.
Yingst reported that Israel has focused its heaviest fire on the Gaza Strip since the war began on October 17.
The Israeli military is currently making specific efforts to strike targets in the northern part of the Gaza Strip by air, land and sea, Yingst reported.
ISRAEL CARRIAGES AIR STRIKES IN WEST BANK AND SYRIA OVERNIGHT, KILLS HAMAS COMMANDER
Live footage showed fireballs over Gaza City.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told reporters Friday that it was not a question of if, but when, Israel would carry out a ground operation to eliminate Hamas.
ISRAEL LEADS LAND INCURSION INTO GAZA, TANKS CROSS BORDER AREA
Overnight Israeli raids, by land and sea, targeted tunnel infrastructure under the Gaza Strip, as the number of hostages held captive by Hamas rose to 229 people.
From one day to the next, a Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) struck a compound used by Hamas naval forces, the army said.
“IDF Flotilla 13 soldiers carried out a targeted raid from the sea in the southern Gaza Strip. During this activity, soldiers struck Hamas military infrastructure and operated in a compound used by Hamas commando naval forces,” the Israeli military said.
The soldiers were assisted by Israeli navy ships and aircraft. IDF forces left the area after the raid.
Hamas terrorists said in a statement that they repelled the Israeli raid from the sea.
The IDF earlier said it had killed the commander of Hamas’s West Khan Younis battalion, Madhat Mubasher, in an overnight airstrike in the Gaza Strip. Mubasher “took part in sniper attacks and was responsible for large explosive devices (used) against IDF forces and Israeli towns,” according to the army.
A Hamas rocket hit a residential building in Tel Aviv, injuring three civilians as Hamas terrorists continue to fire on major Israeli population centers.
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Trey Yingst of Fox News contributed to this report.