The Israeli government has officially declared war and authorized the use of ‘significant military steps’ in response to the unexpected attacks by Hamas. Alongside this declaration, they have intensified airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. In this conflict, the death toll has surpassed 1,100 on both sides, with thousands of people wounded.
Continuing Israeli operations
More than 40 hours after Hamas’s attacks, the Israeli military is still engaging in battles with concealed militants in several locations. Israel has reported at least 700 casualties, and in Gaza, over 400 people have lost their lives. This level of casualties in Israel hasn’t been seen in several decades.
During this period, Hamas and a smaller group called ‘Islamic Jihad’ have claimed to have taken more than 130 people captive from Israel and transported them to Gaza. They have demanded the release of these captives in exchange for the release of thousands of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.
A diverse group of captives
It is reported that among the captives are soldiers, civilians, women, children, and the elderly, including both Israelis and individuals from other countries.
Participation of 1,000 Hamas fighters
The Israeli military estimates that over 1,000 Hamas fighters participated in Saturday’s attacks. This large number indicates the extent of planning by the terrorist group ruling Gaza. Hamas stated that it carried out this attack in response to the suffering of Palestinians caused by Israeli occupation and the blockade of Gaza.
Chaos unleashed by Hamas
Hamas gunmen unleashed chaos for hours, littering the streets with corpses and even wreaking havoc on people attending a music festival. The Red Cross has reported recovering around 260 bodies from the festival site alone, and the number is expected to rise. It’s not yet clear how many of these bodies have been included in Israel’s casualty count. The Israeli military has evacuated at least five cities near Gaza.
UN reports extensive damage
The United Nations reported that late on Sunday night, Israeli airstrikes had destroyed 159 houses in Gaza and damaged 1,210 other buildings. The number of displaced people in Gaza has now exceeded 123,000. An agency for Palestinian refugees affiliated with the United Nations said that a school had been directly targeted, where more than 225 people were taking shelter.
Human toll on both sides
Several Israeli media organizations have reported, citing rescue officials, that at least 700 people, including 44 soldiers, have been killed in Israel. Meanwhile, the Gaza Health Ministry stated that 78 children, 41 women, and 413 other individuals have lost their lives. Both sides have seen nearly two thousand people injured. An Israeli official mentioned that security forces have eliminated 400 militants and detained several others.
Heavy cost for civilians on both sides
This conflict has exacted a heavy toll on civilians from both sides.
The situation in Israel and Gaza is dire, with escalating violence and a high human cost. It remains a matter of international concern, and efforts towards a ceasefire and peaceful resolution are urgently needed.