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IDF appears to mislead foreign media on ‘Gaza ground invasion’

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The Israel Defense Forces appears to have misled foreign news outlets into believing that the military had launched a ground invasion into the Strip during its large-scale bombardment of northern Gaza.

In its initial English-language statement, the military ambiguously phrased where its ground forces were located during the attack, saying “IDF air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip.”

When asked to clarify the matter, if there had been a ground invasion, the IDF’s English-language spokesperson Jonathan Conricus responded: “Yes. As it’s written in the statement. Indeed, ground forces are attacking in Gaza. That is that they are in the Strip.”

While this was technically correct, as some IDF troops were positioned in an enclave technically within Gaza territory — but for all intents and purposes under Israeli control — such a placement does not reasonably represent a “ground invasion.”

This led to widespread, false reports throughout the world, including in The New York Times and Washington Post, that Israel had launched a ground campaign in the Gaza Strip, which it had not done as of 2 a.m. Friday.

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