Israeli troops have entered Gaza City along the Mediterranean coast as part of their ongoing war with Hamas, according to satellite images analyzed by The Associated Press. The images show the impact craters of missile strikes and smoke rising over the northern part of the city. Israeli tanks and armored vehicles can also be seen in previous positions on one of the attack routes used to isolate the city.
Hundreds of thousands of people have fled Gaza City in recent weeks due to the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel. The war began after Hamas launched an incursion into southern Israel, resulting in the deaths of 1,400 people. In response, Israel launched a military offensive into the Gaza Strip, resulting in over 10,500 deaths, with two-thirds of them being women and children.
Planet Labs, the company that provided the satellite images, has delayed the release of imagery from Israel and the Palestinian territories due to concerns about misuse and abuse. However, the company continues to make the data available to its clients, including media and humanitarian organizations.
The satellite images show Israeli forces located just north of the Shati refugee camp, near the city center. Witnesses in Gaza City have confirmed the presence of Israeli soldiers fighting Hamas close to Shifa Hospital, located 1.9 miles from the Israeli forces’ position.
The Israeli military has not yet responded to requests for comment regarding the satellite images. Civilian evacuation orders have been issued for Gaza City, and Israeli forces are approaching the city from three positions. The clearing operation is expected to take weeks or even months to complete.
Satellite photos reveal tanks and armored vehicles moving along Ahmed Orabi Street, a coastal road in Gaza City. There is evidence of an intense barrage of fire by Israel, resulting in impact craters and destroyed buildings throughout the city.
The use of satellite imagery from commercial companies has become invaluable for reporting on closed-off areas and countries. Companies like Airbus and Maxar Technologies have also provided images during the Israel-Hamas conflict. Previously, there were restrictions on high-resolution satellite imagery of Israel, but with advancements in technology, these images are now more widely available.