May 26, 2024

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Mapping the Israeli ground attack on Gaza, from videos and satellite images

Israeli forces and tanks are advancing into the Gaza Strip, advancing in a major ground attack that began Friday night. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the attack as the “second phase” of the war to destroy Hamas, the armed group that controls Gaza.

Israel said little about the incursion, which coincided with an almost complete communications blackout in Gaza. Mobile phone networks and the Internet were restored on Sunday, allowing residents and observers to begin gathering information about the operation.

Videos, photos, and satellite images verified by The Washington Post show some of the places where Israeli tanks and troops appear to have advanced into Gaza. These open source visuals provide a window into what happened when Gaza was plunged into digital darkness.

The Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom published a video on Saturday that appears to show Israeli forces occupying a beach hotel two miles inside the Gaza Strip. In the video, the soldiers are shown carrying the Israeli flag and the man recording the video notes that the scene of the incident occurred three weeks after the “terrible crime,” a reference to the October 7 Hamas attack. Geolocation Written by Younis Al-Tirawi, Palestinian affairs writer, and later confirmed by The Washington Post.

Israeli army An additional video has been shared On Saturday, armored vehicles said to have entered Gaza along the northern border were shown. New vehicle tracks were created in the same area sometime between Thursday and Saturday, according to a comparison of satellite images provided to The Post by Planet Labs. The tracks, about a mile long, appear north of Sifa in the northeastern corner of Gaza, not far from the Israeli border. They can be identified by the trails that have been created or expanded in the area, said Jamon van den Hoek and Corey Scheer of Decentralized Damage Mapping Groupa network of scientists who use remote sensing to map the physical traces of conflict, after reviewing images.

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On Monday, Palestinian journalist Youssef Al-Saifi recorded a video that he said showed an Israeli tank firing at a civilian car on Salah al-Din Road, the main highway linking northern and southern Gaza. Photojournalist Bashar Talib, who was with Al-Saifi and witnessed the scene, said in an interview that they were “surprised” to encounter an Israeli tank on the road. The Washington Post independently located the video showing an explosion that a student said killed three people.

A spokesman for Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, where the victims were taken, confirmed that the three had been killed.

Journalist Youssef Al-Saifi filmed what he says was an Israeli tank firing at a civilian car in Gaza on October 30. The car was driving away when it was hit. (Video: Youssef Bassam via Storyful)

Miriam Berger, Hajar Harb and Jonathan Baran contributed to this report.