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IDF claims reports that ground troops were in Gaza due to misunderstanding

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

After international media outlets reported overnight that Israeli troops were operating in Gaza after an ambiguous IDF statement said Israeli air and ground forces were attacking in the Strip, the military is asserting this was due to a misunderstanding.

After the Israel Defense Forces issued the statements in Hebrew and English — “IDF air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip” — a reporter for The Times of Israel contacted a military spokesperson, and was told there were no Israeli troops in Gaza. The soldiers, tanks and artillery were near the border, but on the Israeli side.

However, the same reporter asked for comment from Jonathan Conricus, the spokesman for foreign media, who told him unambiguously that Israeli ground forces were in Gaza.

Several hours later, however, Conricus issued a statement saying there was “an internal communication error,” for which he personally took responsibility.

IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman says the military is investigating what led to the misunderstanding.

Channel 12 news is claiming that the misunderstanding was not in fact a mistake, but a ruse meant to draw Hamas fighters into underground tunnels built by the Gaza-ruling terror group, which the IDF targeted in a massive bombardment overnight

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