BEIT LAHIYA, Gaza Strip, (AP) -Israeli ground troops backed by tanks and armored vehicles advanced into the northern Gaza towns of Beit Hanoun and Jebaliya on Wednesday, Palestinian security officials said.
Israeli snipers positioned themselves on rooftops as the troops fanned out, the officials said.
The army confirmed it was operating in the area as part of its ongoing offensive against Gaza militants involved in rocket attacks against Israel.
Beit Hanoun was the site of a weeklong incursion earlier this month in which some 50 militants and at least seven civilians were killed. The operation left behind a wide swath of destruction, but failed to curb the rocket attacks.