Satellite images taken Monday morning show the size of one of Israel’s main advances in northern Gaza, where hundreds of armored vehicles have moved miles across the border into the outskirts of Gaza City.
Israel has so far pulled off the fastest and largest ground offensive many analysts expected. But an image taken by commercial satellite company Planet Labs on Monday morning showed a significant invasion force: several groups of dozens of armored vehicles cut across open fields and concentrated in urban areas.
The film provides a clear picture of how far the main lines of Israel’s invasion have moved into Gaza and the devastation it has caused. Israeli vehicles are seen to the south near Al Karama, north of Gaza City. Videos released by the Israeli military earlier showed rows of tanks operating near the border area.
Many nearby buildings appear to have been heavily damaged or completely destroyed by airstrikes. Airstrikes and shelling leave hundreds of craters, including houses and roads, flattening flats.
According to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry, more than 8,000 people have been killed across Gaza, many of them children, since Israel began carrying out retaliatory airstrikes on October 7 in response to Hamas attacks.
The area shown is one of three directions where Israeli tanks and other vehicles moved toward Gaza City, Gaza’s largest city. Rows of armored vehicles can be seen along Gaza’s main north-south road, as well as in the northeastern corner of the strip in Beit Hanoun.
But Israeli forces have pulled back from direct combat in Gaza City, the largest city, choosing instead to stay on the city’s fringes to delay a more dangerous war and keep military options open.
Fields and buildings have been demolished in Al Karama for the past nine days.
Destroyed farmland was used to stockpile dozens of armored vehicles. Detailed tank tracks give clues as to how the area was traversed.
Farther south, images show a row of destroyed buildings, with additional craters and military vehicles.