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WATCH: Israeli Troops on the Ground, as IDF Surrounds Gaza City

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Israeli ground forces have carried out a number of targeted raids inside the Gaza Strip, preparing the ground for future stages of operations, the Israel Defense Forces said on Thursday. The IDF released a video taken inside the Strip, while IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said troops have surrounded the city in the northern part of the strip from several directions.

“We have advanced another significant stage in the war. The forces are in the heart of northern Gaza, operating in Gaza City, surrounding it, and deepening [the ground offensive] and its achievements,” Halevi said. Around 130 Hamas terrorists were killed in gun battles with Israeli soldiers Thursday afternoon and early evening, the IDF said.

The White House, meanwhile, on Thursday bolstered the idea of a ceasefire.

“A temporary pause that’s localized that would allow us to get aid in and to get our people out is a good thing for the people of Gaza, it’s a good thing for the Americans that are being held hostage, and it’s not going to stop Israel from defending itself,” White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

Watch the IDF inside Gaza, below.

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