Israel Declares War, Retaliates Against Gaza After Hamas Attack, Death Toll Tops 1,100 on Both Sides.
Missile Explodes in Gaza City Amid Israeli Airstrike on October 8, 2023. (Photo: AFP)
Israel’s military reclaimed southern territories where Hamas launched a surprise incursion from Gaza, according to CNN. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered a “complete siege” on Gaza, barring food and fuel shipments. The three-day conflict has resulted in 1,100 casualties on both sides, with over 700 in Israel, including 44 soldiers.
Israel declared war on Hamas, pledging to eliminate their hideouts. Gaza endured Israeli airstrikes, resulting in at least 493 deaths. Hamas fired rockets at Israel and took hostages.
Latest Israel-Palestine Conflict Developments:
Music Festival Attack: Around 260 bodies were recovered by Israeli rescue service Zaka from a music festival attacked by Hamas. Videos show terrified festivalgoers fleeing the assault.
Complete Siege on Gaza: Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered a “complete siege” on Gaza, cutting off electricity, food, and fuel, stating that they are dealing with “human animals.”
Electricity Cut in Gaza: Gaza was already facing a complete electricity blackout as Israel cut off the power supply in response to Hamas’ attacks.
UN Security Council Response: Several members of the UN Security Council condemned Hamas on Sunday, but the United States expressed regret over the lack of unanimity. Both the US and Israel called for a strong condemnation of Palestinian Islamists.
US Support for Israel: US President Joe Biden ordered additional support for Israel in the face of the conflict. The US deployed the USS Gerald R Ford aircraft carrier and increased fighter aircraft squadrons in the region.
Airstrike Casualties: An Israeli airstrike in a Gaza refugee camp killed 19 members of a Palestinian family. Israel reported hitting over 800 targets in Gaza, including significant destruction in the town of Beit Hanoun.
Hamas Claims Israeli Captives: Hamas claimed that Israel’s bombing of Gaza led to the deaths of four Israeli captives.
Iran’s Role: Senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah revealed that Iran played a role in orchestrating the surprise attacks against Israel. The operation was reportedly planned in meetings attended by officers from Iran’s IRGC and representatives of Iran-backed militant groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah.
Captive Israelis: Islamic Jihad chief Ziad al-Nakhala stated that his faction held over 30 Israelis captive in Gaza and would not release them until all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails were freed.
Ongoing Battles: Israeli forces were still battling with Hamas militants in several locations more than 24 hours after the initial attack. Tens of thousands of Israeli forces were deployed to confront Hamas fighters.
Hamas’ Operation: Hamas named its attack “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” and called for support from resistance fighters in the West Bank and Arab and Islamic nations. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh expressed confidence in victory and vowed to continue the battle for land liberation and the release of Palestinian prisoners.