TULSA - Israel has confirmed a largescale ground operation targeting Hamas rocket-launching sites has begun in the Gaza Strip.
A spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Force made the announcement Thursday afternoon, Central Time.
A statement released by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office reads in part:
Israel is committed to act to protect its citizens. The operation will continue until its goals are reached: To bring quiet to the citizens of Israel for a long period of time, and to seriously harm Hamas and other terrorist organizations' infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the invasion was preceded by a massive artillery barrage and airstrikes.
IDF says the operation involves infantry, engineering corps, and tank units along with air and naval units in support.
Israel had declared a "humanitarian truce" just in advance of the invasion, and reportedly dropped about 100,000 leaflets in the Gaza area warning residents there to evacuate.