15:25 EDT: The IDF began shelling areas in the northern Gaza Strip with heavy artillery fire Thursday night.
Israeli’s living near the Gaza border have been instructed to enter bomb shelters and safe rooms. Residents remaining in villages and rural areas in the Gaza Strip have also been told to enter bomb shelters or any other protected areas.
The heavy artillery fire was towards Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia. The IDF also fired numerous flares to light up the night sky over the Strip. Attack helicopters were circling the northern Strip and firing, as the IAF dropped bombs, the navy fired from the sea, and massive artillery and tank fire turned the sky red.
This type of massive bombardment is the usual precursor to an attack by ground forces. An invasion of Gaza is expected within hours.