Israel’s ground op could cut Hamas control of key road – Arab news claim

Israel’s expanding ground operation is being watched closely by regional media. On Monday, Arab news reports claimed that Israeli tanks were seen on a major road that connects the south of the Gaza Strip, to the north.

The reports prompted speculation in foreign media about the progress of the ground campaign: If Salah a-Din Road is under Israeli control (along with another major road along the coast), transit across the Strip will be cut for Hamas, essentially splitting the enclave into two. These reports have appeared only in Arab media.

The success of the IDF ground troops comes amid continued calls abroad for a pause in operations for humanitarian aid, a ceasefire, and the opening of the border with Egypt as an exit, as well as for goods to arrive in Gaza, like fuel.

Al-Ain media postulated that Israel reached into central Gaza at its narrowest point, an area of fields between Gaza City and Al-Bureij camp. This area includes the village of Juhr al-Dik and its surrounding fields. The report calls this the “soft flank” of Gaza, because there is no built-up area, and it can be easily traversed to the sea. The Al-Ain report reads: “From the Zaytoun neighborhood, through the Netzarim Junction, to the Juhr al-Dik area, Israel seemed to be sensing a new phase in its ground operation in the Gaza Strip, on the 24th day of the war.”

Palestinian civilians wait to collect water using horse and donkey drawn carts, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on October 28, 2023 (credit: ABED RAHIM KHATIB/FLASH90)

Cutting the strip in two

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