Fighting near the Gaza border has continually intensified. During a live report on Monday, Scripps News international correspondent Jason Bellini was forced to seek cover from an incoming rocket that was ultimately intercepted by Israel Defense Forces.
Bellini is stationed in Sderot, which has mostly been abandoned. The intercepted rocket landed in the town, causing a large fire near what appeared to be power lines.
The incident happened as the Israeli military has continued to expand its ground assault into Gaza.
Video released Monday morning by the Israel Defense Forces shows troops operating inside Gaza buildings. The IDF said they struck over 600 Hamas targets over the last few days by air, land and sea.
Information on the ground operation is largely limited to what the IDF releases. But during what Israel is calling "Stage 2" of its war with Hamas, there have been reports of a large clash at the Erez Crossing on the northern border after the IDF said they saw Hamas terrorists emerge from a tunnel opening there, according to the IDF and the Institute for the Study of War.
Further south, near the city of Beit Hanoun, the Institute for the Study of War reports that there were skirmishes. There's also activity on the outskirts of Gaza City and the Al-Ahzar University, where IDF troops identified an anti-tank missile launching post and called in a fighter jet to strike.
Social media reports claim that Israeli tanks are reported to be on the main north-south road on the coast.
All of this information increasingly indicates that the Israeli military is moving closer to — and circling — Gaza City.
Meanwhile, Israeli claims its ground operation in Gaza led to the release of an IDF soldier who was taken hostage on Oct. 7, when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel.
Ori Megidish reportedly underwent a medical evaluation and is doing well. She has been reunited with her family, officials said.
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