The incursion began at around 10:00 P.M. on Thursday night, when a large number of Israeli soldiers crossed into the strip. There have been several exchanges of fire with Gaza militants, a senior IDF official told Haaretz
A statement issued by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that infantry, armored, engineering and artillery corps troops are participating in the operation, with assistance from the air force and the navy. The IDF plans to ask the cabinet to approve the call-up of additional reservists.
The soldier was apparently killed by light arms fire, during a Nahal brigade operation.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told CNN that "the beginning of the Israeli ground invasion of Gaza is a dangerous step with unknown consequences. Israel will pay a heavy price for it."
Later, appearing on Aqsa TV, Barhoum said, "the resistance will confront the Israeli ground invasion and will defend the people of Gaza."