While Israel has so far stopped short of the rapid, overwhelming all-out ground assault on Gaza that many expected and feared, the satellite images still demonstrate a significant ground force.
Sightings of Israeli forces inside Gaza, as well as the limited information released by both the IDF and Hamas on where fighting has taken place, all point to the Jewish state’s military commanders working to surround the city.
Tanks are understood to have cut off a main road that runs the full length of the Gaza Strip, also suggesting that Israeli forces have been ordered to divide the 140-square-mile territory in two – the northern region around Gaza City and the larger, southern region where most people have fled to.
Satellite images of the northern-most four miles of Gaza appear to confirm the Israeli advance deep into the Strip. Analysis of the images shows breaches through the perimeter fence, tank tracks in the sand, damaged and destroyed buildings and large craters from Israeli artillery strikes. Farms have also been destroyed.
Armoured vehicles can be seen stationed in clearings between bombed-out buildings – many of which have been destroyed by Israeli air strikes in the country’s ruthless bombardment of the territory that was launched in response to Hamas’s October 7 terror attack that killed around 1,400 people in Israel.
Israeli troops appear to be advancing on three main routes, according to the Institute for the Study of War, a US research group that analyses conflicts.
One thrust came from Gaza’s northeast corner. Another, south of Gaza City, cut across the territory, reaching the main north-south highway. The third, from Gaza’s northwest corner, has moved about 3 miles down the Mediterranean coast, reaching the outskirts of the Shati and Jabaliya refugee camps, on the edges of Gaza City.
It is the result of the first and third thrust that we can see in the satellite images.
Scroll down to see MailOnline’s annotated satellite image showing the Israeli advance:
A map from Turkey’s Anadolu agency shows where Israeli forces have advanced in Gaza