Israel to send tens of thousands of troops to capture Gaza City, kill Sinwar — officials

Israel plans to send tens of thousands of troops to capture Gaza City and “destroy” the Hamas leadership that runs the enclave, the New York Times reports, citing Israeli military officers who outlined unclassified details.

The report says the offensive would be the largest since 2006’s Second Lebanon War and will see the IDF attempt to hold on to parts of Gaza, at least temporarily.

A Hamas official tells the newspaper its fighters will try to ambush Israeli soldiers by popping out of tunnels behind their advance to surprise the troops.

According to the Israeli officials, the IDF’s rules of engagement are being eased so soldiers will be able to shoot at suspects with fewer checks.

Troops will be particularly focused on killing Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht says.

“That man is in our sights,” Hecht says. “He’s a dead man walking, and we will get to that man.”

“In addition to infantry, the Israeli strike force will include tanks, sappers and commandos,” the officers said. “The ground troops will be given cover by war planes, helicopter gunships, aerial drones and artillery fired from land and sea.”

IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari said at a Saturday night press conference, “We continue to urge the residents of Gaza City, go south… Hamas wants you as human shields… This is for your personal safety,” Hagari added. “We are going to attack very widely in Gaza City in the near future.”

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