Israeli Ground Forces Cross Border Into Gaza Strip
Saturday, January 03, 2009
DEVELOPING: Israeli ground forces began moving across the border into the northern Gaza Strip in an escalation late Saturday night of the weeklong offensive against Hamas.
The incursion was confirmed to FOX News by Israeli defense officials, and witnesses in the Gaza Strip reported seeing troops moving in — a development that Reuters described as a small column of Israeli military vehicles backed by combat helicopters.
Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip had intensified Saturday evening as tanks began repositioning themselves around the border despite international efforts to secure a cease-fire and avert a ground war between Israel and Hamas.
Israel launched the aerial campaign a week ago in a bid to halt weeks of intensifying Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza. The offensive has dealt a heavy blow to Hamas, but failed to halt the rocket fire.
Early Saturday, Israel dropped leaflets in downtown Gaza City ordering people off the streets.