Satellite imagery taken Monday morning shows the substantial scale of one of Israel’s main advances into northern Gaza, where hundreds of armored vehicles have pushed miles past the border into urban areas on the outskirts of Gaza City.
Israel has so far stopped short of the rapid and overwhelming ground assault that many analysts expected. But the imagery, taken on Monday morning by Planet Labs, a commercial satellite company, shows a significant invading force: many groups of dozens of armored vehicles cutting through open fields and amassing in urban spaces.
The image provides the clearest picture yet of how far one the main lines of Israel’s invasion has moved into Gaza and the destruction it has caused. Israeli vehicles are seen as far south as the neighborhood of Al Karama, north of Gaza City. Videos released by the Israeli military had previously shown lines of tanks operating near the border area.
Many nearby buildings appear to have been heavily damaged or completely destroyed by airstrikes. Hundreds of craters from airstrikes and shelling are visible, including in homes and on roads, and apartment blocks have been flattened.
More than 8,000 people have been killed across Gaza, many of them children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza, since Israel began launching retaliatory airstrikes in response to the Hamas attack on Oct. 7.
The area shown is one of three directions where Israeli tanks and other vehicles have moved toward Gaza City, the largest city in Gaza. Lines of armored vehicles have been seen on the main road running north to south of Gaza, as well as in the northeastern corner of the strip, in Beit Hanoun.
But Israeli forces have hung back from direct fighting in Gaza City, the largest city, choosing instead to stay on the city’s fringes to delay the most dangerous combat and keep military options open.
In Al Karama, fields and buildings have been razed over the last nine days.
The destroyed farmland was used to amass dozens of armored vehicles. Extensive tank tracks give a clue of how they are moving around the area.
Farther south, the imagery shows a series of buildings that have been destroyed, alongside additional craters and military vehicles.