The Israel Defense Forces deployed a limited contingent of ground forces into the Gaza Strip to search for and release prisoners captured by Hamas. This was reported in a statement by the IDF press service.
Thus, a ground group of Israeli troops is already operating on the territory of the Palestinian enclave, but its numbers are still small. A large-scale IDF ground operation in Gaza has not yet begun.
Let us recall that on October 7, the Palestinian Hamas movement carried out a raid deep into Israeli territory, capturing a large number of IDF troops and civilians, including foreigners. All prisoners were taken to the Gaza Strip.
The presence of a large number of prisoners in the hands of Hamas is a very serious problem for the Israeli authorities, since if prisoners are killed in large numbers, this will lead to a sharp increase in public discontent in the country.
The Palestinian movement demands that Israel stop airstrikes on Gaza and lift the blockade of the enclave. However, the Israeli leadership, apparently, is not abandoning plans to conduct a large-scale military operation to destroy Hamas.
The main reason for the delay in starting the operation is fears of escalation and scaling of the conflict in the region. Indeed, in the event of a ground invasion of the Palestinian enclave, new participants may join the conflict, including the Hezbollah movement from Lebanon, Iraqi Shiites, and it is possible that they will enter into an armed conflict with Israel and Iran.