Satellite images taken Monday morning show the substantial scale of one of Israel’s main advances into northern Gaza, where hundreds of armored vehicles have been driven miles across the border into urban areas on the outskirts of Gaza City.
Israel has so far stopped short of the rapid and overwhelming ground attack that many analysts expected. But the images, taken Monday morning by Planet Labs, a commercial satellite company, show a significant invasion force: many groups of dozens of armored vehicles cutting through open fields and gathering in urban areas.
The image provides the clearest picture yet of how far the main thrust of Israel’s invasion has moved into Gaza and the destruction it has caused. Israeli vehicles are seen as far south as the Al Karama neighborhood, north of Gaza City. Videos released by the Israeli military previously showed rows of tanks operating near the border area.
Many nearby buildings appear to have been badly damaged or completely destroyed by airstrikes. Hundreds of craters from airstrikes and shelling are visible, including in houses and on roads, and apartment buildings have been razed to the ground.
More than 8,000 people, including many children, have been killed across Gaza since Israel began launching retaliatory airstrikes in response to Hamas’ attack on October 7, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza.
The area shown is one of three directions in which Israeli tanks and other vehicles have moved toward Gaza City, the largest city in Gaza. Rows of armored vehicles have been seen on the main road running north to south through Gaza, as well as in the northeastern corner of the strip, in Beit Hanoun.
But Israeli forces have moved away from direct fighting in Gaza City, the largest city, choosing instead to remain on the outskirts of the city to delay the most dangerous fighting and keep military options open.
Fields and buildings have been destroyed in Al Karama over the past nine days.
The destroyed farmland was used to amass dozens of armored vehicles. Extensive tank tracks give an idea of how they move through the area.
Further south, the images show a series of buildings that have been destroyed, alongside additional craters and military vehicles.