A clever act of deception may have led to the IDF scoring a massive victory against terror targets in the ongoing conflict with Hamas, several reports from Israeli media said on Friday.
Israeli officials hinted earlier in the week that an extended campaign against Hamas was likely to come. Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a Tuesday press conference that “this is just the beginning — the first in a long line of actions we have planned.”
At around 9 p.m. local time Thursday night, the IDF began building up armored and infantry battalions along the Gazan border following a week of non-stop rocket attacks from Hamas.
IDF’s official English language Twitter account then sent a tweet saying, “IDF air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip,” leading many western media outlets to report that an Israeli invasion of Gaza was imminent.
IDF air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 13, 2021
“Israeli troops have entered the Gaza Strip as conflict with Palestinians escalates,” read the lede from the Washington Post.
Israel’s critics also voiced their displeasure at a potential Israeli invasion, which had not occurred since 2014’s Operation Protective Edge.
live tweeting war crimes
— shoe (@shoe0nhead) May 13, 2021
IDF has started it’s invasion of gaza with ongoing air and ground warfare, as the US looks away. disgusting.
— hasanabi (@hasanthehun) May 13, 2021
Based on the tweet from the IDF and reports from the media that a ground assault was imminent, Hamas and Islamic Jihad reportedly sent their anti-tank missile teams and mortar squads into their “Metro,” a large network of tunnels built by the terrorists under the border between Gaza and Israel in the years following the 2014 campaign, with the goal of launching surprise strikes at incoming Israeli ground forces.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 14, 2021
The only problem was the invasion never came. (RELATED: Hamas Official Reportedly Tells People To Buy Knives And Cut Jews’ Heads Off)
The Metro was subsequently hit with a massive bombardment from the Israeli Air Force and that the militants were subject to the fire upon emerging from the tunnels, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The number of terrorists killed in the operation is not yet known, with IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman saying Friday morning that the military is still evaluating the consequences of the operation.
An IDF spokesperson also told the Times of Israel that there are currently no ground troops in Gaza.