Israel and the Palestinian groups in Gaza continued firing rockets at each other’s territories, as over 1,100 people, including children, have been killed in the violent war that is raging for the third day.
The Israel-Palestine conflict’s bloodiest escalation in decades saw Hamas carry out a massive rocket barrage and Israel respond with airstrikes. Over 700 have died in Israel and above 400 in Gaza. Besides, over 100,000 people have been displaced in Gaza while Hamas claims it is holding more than a hundred Israelis hostage.
Israel Defence Forces claimed to have struck over 500 Hamas targets overnight as it responded to rocket attacks from Gaza that it described the attack as their “9/11” or “Pearl Harbour” moment. It also called the Hamas attack the “worst massacre of innocent citizens in Israel’s history”.
“Hamas was more barbaric and more brutal than ISIS. Hamas murdered hundreds of Israelis, men, women, and children, and took dozens of hostages into Gaza. This horrific terror act demands a forceful, determined, and sustained response, which is exactly what we are doing,” the Israeli Defense Forces said in its latest statement.
Israel has accused Iran of funding the Hamas group’s operations but Tehran has denied being involved in the latest offensive. The United Nations Security Council has failed to agree on a statement on the Israel-Hamas war.
A rocket exploded near a hotel in Israel’s Ashkelon, barely a few kilometres from the Gaza strip, this morning as journalists were about to check in. Air raid sirens blared, and the crew ran for shelter, leaving their luggage behind, as live visuals showed rockets piercing the sky.
The US said several Americans were killed in the surprise land-sea-air attack on Israel and ordered the deployment of US warships and fighter jet squadrons to Israel. Thailand also claimed its 12 citizens were killed and 11 kidnapped. Besides, citizens of Brazil, Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Nepal, and Ukraine were either killed, kidnapped, or are missing.
This is the bloodiest escalation in decades which saw Palestinian groups breach Israel with thousands of rockets and their terrorists roaming Israeli border towns and killing civilians, and Israel countering with air-strikes on the Gaza strip. Yesterday, Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah said it fired artillery shells and missiles at Israeli positions “in solidarity” with the Hamas attack.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to avenge what he said was a “black day” for Israel. “The IDF (army) is about to use all its force to destroy Hamas’s capabilities. We’ll strike them to the bitter end and avenge with force this black day they brought on Israel and its people,” he said.
He warned Palestinians living near Hamas sites in Gaza to leave as he vowed to turn its hideouts into “rubble” following its surprise attack. “I’m telling the people of Gaza: get out of there now because we’re about to act everywhere with all our force,” he said.
Israel and Palestinian groups have fought several wars since Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007. The latest violence erupted a day after Hamas said that the “people had to draw a line to end the occupation” and added that Israel continued to commit crimes across Palestinian land, and especially on the holy site of Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem.
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