Israel moved ground troops to its border with Gaza on Thursday.
“They are there in battle procedure, basically preparing for battle,” an IDF spokesman told the BBC.
Israel and Hamas have exchanged air attacks this week, killing 90 people.
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Israel moved additional ground troops to its border with Gaza on Thursday, raising the prospect it might invade the territory after days of violent clashes with Hamas.
“There are troops that are being moved towards the borders,” an Israel Defense Forces spokesman, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, told the BBC. “It’s a preparatory move.”
“They are there in battle procedure, basically preparing for battle – that is what they’re doing,” Conricus said.
Conricus added that military officials were preparing for “all eventualities and an escalation.”
Video from Trey Yingst, a reporter for Fox News who is on the ground, shows tanks being transported to the Gaza border:
Israel most recently moved ground troops into Gaza in 2014.
Death toll rises to 90
Israel and Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, have exchanged air attacks this week. Hamas has fired some 1,600 rockets toward Israel, about 90% of which were blocked by the country’s Iron Dome defense system.
Some got through the defenses, with a death toll of seven.
Israeli attacks in Gaza, delivered by its air force, have been more deadly, with a reported death toll in Gaza of 83.
The victims on both sides include children. Conricus, the IDF spokesman, said the Israeli military’s priority was “degrading enemy capabilities.”
Israel says it targets Hamas facilities and launch sites for the rockets and warns civilians to leave before attacking. The mixture of military and civilian buildings in Gaza, however, means that harm to civilians is virtually guaranteed.
The attacks this week represent the most violent clashes between Israel and Hamas since the 2014 Gaza War.
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