Heavy artillery fire on Gaza escalates violence as clashes between Arabs and Jews rock Israeli cities
On Friday morning, Gaza experienced heavy artillery fire amid reports that the Israeli army had launched a ground invasion of the strip. However, those reports have since been conclusively denied. Yesterday, the combination of an army tweet and the gunfire led many news organizations to report that a ground war had broken out between the two entities. This possibility was heavily discussed in Israeli media on Thursday which likely contributed to the reports. An army spokesperson later clarified that there were no IDF ground troops inside the Gaza strip.
Dozens of people were forced to flee their homes in the north and east of the enclave, seeking refuge in schools, other public buildings, and buildings belonging to the United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees. Dozens of airstrikes also hit the region. On the other side, those in the Israeli town of Ashkelon were forced to flee into bomb shelters, most of which are located within the homes, as sirens warned of a new sequence of rocket attacks. Israel has called up 7,000 army reservists so far.