Israeli defense minister tells troops to get ready for ground offensive in Gaza
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Thursday asked infantry soldiers along the border with the Gaza Strip to get prepared for entering the Palestinian enclave, without specifying the time of the offensive.
Gallant visited Israel's Southern Command near Gaza, where Israel has been gathering force in the wake of the deadly surprise attacks launched by Hamas militants on October 7.
During the visit, which was televised by several Israeli news channels, Gallant told the troops to "get organized, be ready" for an order to start the ground operation.
"Whoever sees Gaza from afar now, will see it from the inside – I promise you," he said.
In the evening, the military said in a statement that as part of the "completion of the preparation for the continuation of the fighting, the approval of operational plans and the deployment of forces in the field are currently happening."
The Commanding Officer of the Southern Command Yaron Finkelman visited several units that were currently stationed in the southern area and approved attack plans, according to the statement.
"Now, our maneuvers are going to take the war into their territory. It's going to be long, it's going to be intense," Finkelman told soldiers and commanders along the border.