Massive orange flashes pierced the night sky over Gaza City as air strikes were launched against its devastated territory, disrupting Internet service and phone connectivity and cutting off access altogether.
Daniel Hagari, Israel's military spokesperson, reported that ground operations of its ground force have been extended after two nights of tank incursions.
Hamas' armed wing said they are currently engaging Israeli forces in two areas within Gaza Strip.
"Israel has conducted an Israeli ground incursion into Beit Hanoun (in the northern Gaza Strip) and east Bureij (in the center), leading to violent engagements on the ground," according to Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades in a statement issued earlier today.
Since Hamas fighters crossed into Israeli territory on October 7 and launched an incursion, Israel has prepared itself for a potential ground invasion. On that date alone it claims that 1,400 civilians died, most being women and children. Furthermore, over 220 hostages have been taken hostage.
Hamas-run health ministry reported Israeli strikes had killed 7,326 people, including more than 3,000 children, since September 1, 2017, including 7.3266 Israeli casualties and 3,171 by Israeli air attacks alone. United Nations warned of imminent humanitarian catastrophe as food, water and fuel supplies run dry in this 2.4-million strong population enclave.
Hamas reported on Friday night that Israel had increased the frequency and severity of air strikes while also making an appeal to international organizations to put an end to them.
But Palestinian groups declared their readiness for any invasion ordered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.
"His soldiers' bodies will soon disappear beneath Gazan soil," according to Ezzat al-Rishaq, senior Hamas political bureau member on Telegram.
Helicopters were heard near Gaza's borders as clouds of black smoke rose up from Gaza's territory and roads on Israel's side remained deserted.
Gaza City was illuminated with orange firelight from burning buildings, while roads on Israel side lay abandoned and were completely devoid of traffic.
Most of the population, particularly kibbutz communities that were hit hardest in the October 7 attacks, have now been evacuated.