Israel's Defense Minister Announces 'New Phase' in War With Hamas, As Bombing Increases in Gaza

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Saturday morning brought tidings of a change in the Israel-Hamas conflict overnight, with Israel's increase in operations on the ground in Gaza to root out Hamas terrorists reportedly severing communications there, after a week that saw nearly 100 Hamas invaders taken out.


Now, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's administration is sharing how the war is moving into "a new phase":

via the AP:

JERUSALEM, Israel — Israel on Saturday expanded its ground operation in Gaza, sending in tanks and infantry backed by massive strikes from the air and sea. Israel’s defense minister said that “the ground shook in Gaza” and that the war against the territory’s Hamas rulers had entered a new stage.

The bombardment, described by Gaza residents as the most intense of the war, also knocked out most communications in Gaza. This largely cut off the besieged enclave’s 2.3 million people from the world, while enabling the Israeli military to control the narrative in the new stage of fighting.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said during a broadcast Saturday: 

We moved to the next stage in the war. Last evening, the ground shook in Gaza. We attacked above ground and underground. ... The instructions to the forces are clear. The campaign will continue until further notice.


In response to the new gear the Israelis have moved into, the Palestinian Health Ministry released a statement:

Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told reporters that the disruption of communications has “totally paralyzed” the health network. Residents had no way of calling ambulances, and emergency teams were chasing the sounds of artillery barrages and airstrikes to search for people in need.

Also chiming in were both Egypt and the United Nations (U.N.) -- and you likely won't be surprised by their adamant calls for a ceasefire:

In Cairo, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said his government was working to de-escalate the conflict through its talks with the warring parties to release prisoners and hostages. On Saturday, he spoke with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about those efforts, his office said.

In a written statement, Guterres said he was surprised by Israel’s unprecedented escalation of bombardments overnight on Gaza.

“This situation must be reversed,” he wrote.

But Guterres said he was encouraged by an apparent growing consensus on the need for a humanitarian cease-fire.

A spokesman for Israel's army was clear in responding to such demands:


The Israeli army spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said the confirmed number of hostages was 229, after four were released in recent days through mediation by Qatar and Egypt. He dismissed news reports about a possible cease-fire deal in exchange for the release of hostages, saying Hamas was engaged in a “cynical exploitation” of the anxieties of relatives of hostages.

As this is an ongoing, developing story, RedState will provide further details as we get them.

Related: Israel's Military vs. the Arab States, by the Numbers: The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth!

WATCH: Netanyahu Advisor Asks PBS to Stop Taking Hamas Casualty Figures as Fact, Host Remains Clueless


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