'Complete Siege': Israel Orders All Out War on Gaza
UPDATED: Total Death Toll Nears 1,500 People
On Monday morning, sirens once more rang out in Israel, a city suddenly besieged by war over the weekend. The death toll, on both sides of the front, has reportedly climbed "over 1,500," with over 900 reported dead on Israel's side and 490 dead on Palestine's side, at the time of this report.
Deaths have included foreign nationals and alarmed international leaders.
Weighing in on international commentary that heard from the United States, Russia, and others, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy drew a direct comparison between the incursions of Hamas and Russia. Zelenskyy drew attention to what he called “the same evil.” He explained that the only difference, in his eyes, between the two attacks was that Israel was attacked by a “terrorist organization” and Ukraine was attacked “by a terrorist state,” the Associated Press quoted.
Israel has ordered a "complete siege" of Gaza in response, moving to cut off water and electricity, fuel and food. Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced the siege, explaining that the authorities would cut off all the entry points to these provisions.
Overnight, Israel pelted hundreds of Hamas points in Gaza, as the country's combat units deployed to the nation's south. At least 100,000 of Israel's combat reservists were called up for the war effort.
At the time of this report, with fighting continuing into the day, the Israel Defense Force has announced it struck "more than a 1,000" enemy targets between the overnight and daylight attacks.
The Hamas militant group in the Gaza Strip launched a surprise and multi-front attack on Israel on Saturday, catching the country off-guard during the joyous occasion of Simchat Torah.
At the time of the initial attack, thousands of rockets were fired, while Hamas fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border by air, land, and sea. The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, responded by declaring: "We are at war."
The assault carried out by Hamas militants on Saturday has been described as unprecedented in its scale and breadth. Gunmen from Hamas infiltrated as many as 22 locations outside the Gaza Strip, including towns and communities up to 15 miles from the Gaza border. This surprising maneuver left Israel's military scrambling to respond effectively. Tragically, civilians and soldiers alike fell victim to the attack.
Conflict has escalated further, with Hamas announcing that they are holding "dozens" of Israeli civilians and soldiers captive in the Gaza Strip. This development marks a significant escalation in the fighting and raises concerns about the safety and well-being of those held hostage.
Israeli military officials have confirmed the hostage situation but have not disclosed the exact number of individuals being held by Hamas. Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, an Israeli army spokesman, expressed the gravity of the situation and the ongoing efforts to address it. The Israeli military is working tirelessly to secure the release of the hostages and restore stability in the region.
The international community has responded to the escalating conflict with growing concern. Diplomatic efforts are underway to de-escalate tensions and bring about a ceasefire. However, the situation on the ground remains volatile, and the toll on human lives continues to rise.
As the conflict intensifies, the world watches with bated breath for further developments. The repercussions of this attack on Israel and the subsequent hostilities between Hamas and the Israeli military have far-reaching implications for the region and potential global ramifications