Updated at 8 a.m. Friday, ET

JERUSALEM—A wave of 160 Israel Defense Forces aircraft simultaneously conducted a massive attack shortly after midnight on Thursday on a network of tunnels dug by the Hamas terror group under the northern Gaza Strip, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit reported on Friday. It was the largest Israeli strike since the outbreak of fighting earlier this week.

In addition to the aerial assault, Israeli ground forces and artillery on the Gaza border struck anti-tank guided missile and rocket-launching teams that were conducting attacks on Israeli targets, said IDF spokesman Hidai Zilberman.

The massive bombardment and instensified shelling by IDF ground forces represents a new stage in Israel’s defense against ongoing missile barrages that have killed nine Israelis and injured scores.

An Israeli military spokesman, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, initially said that “there are ground troops attacking in Gaza,” but later clarified that Israeli troops had not entered Gaza, suggesting the possibility of new artillery fire from the outside. He provided no further details.

The Israeli military has attacked more than 700 Hamas targets since “Operation Guardian of the Walls” began on Monday, including senior commanders, infrastructure and attack drones launched by the terror group.

More details will be published as available.

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