An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson announced Monday that more military forces are pouring into the Gaza Strip and are “directly engaging terrorists” as troops remain on “high alert” along Israel’s border with Lebanon.
In a briefing, the spokesperson said over the last 24 hours, “we have expanded ground activities, with additional forces entering the Gaza Strip including Infantry, Armored Corps, Combat Engineering and Artillery Corps.
“Through integrated strikes of the Ground Forces and the IAF, dozens of terrorists were eliminated last night who had barricaded themselves in buildings and attempted to attack the forces that were moving in their direction,” the spokesperson said.
“We maneuver on the ground, identify the terrorists, and strike from the air. Ground forces are also directly engaging terrorists,” the spokesperson added. “The fighting is being carried out in the Gaza Strip.”
Along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, troops also remain on “high alert” for attacks by the militant group Hezbollah, according to the IDF.
“Yesterday a fighter jet struck rocket launchers in Syria that had launched rockets towards Israel. An aircraft also struck Hezbollah targets in Lebanon. We are continuing to strike along the border,” the IDF spokesperson said. “Every terrorist cell that Hezbollah deploys to the security fence will be eliminated. Every terrorist cell that attempts to shoot at our territory will be eliminated. We will continue to operate in this way today as well. We will continue to maintain high alert in the north. This is the mission.”
The developments come as a high-level Israeli official visited Doha to negotiate the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza alongside Qatari negotiators, Fox News has learned.
“A high-level Israeli official, in coordination with the U.S. visited Doha to meet Qatari negotiators on Saturday to discuss the hostage situation and further the talks about the release of hostages,” the official said.
“Talks had stalled on Friday due to disagreements on the technical aspects of a potential deal, leading to the [military] escalation on Friday night, but talks continued on Saturday and have been ongoing following the productive visit of the Israeli official,” the official added.
The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas is believed to be holding some 239 hostages in the Gaza Strip.
The IDF spokesperson said Monday that “returning the hostages is a supreme national mission.”
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom and Trey Yingst contributed to this report.