Israel and the Palestinian groups in Gaza continued firing rockets at each other’s territories as over 1,100 including children have been killed in the violent war that is raging for the third day.
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The Israel-Palestine conflict’s bloodiest escalation in decades saw Hamas carry out a massive rocket barrage and ground, air, and sea offensive. Israel responded with airstrikes across the Gaza border. Over 700 have died in Israel while the death count is above 400 in Gaza. Thousands more are injured. Dozens of Israeli soldiers and civilians are being held hostages across the Gaza border.
Israel Defence Forces has described the Hamas attack as their “9/11” moment and the “worst massacre of innocent citizens in Israel’s history”. They also said Hamas wanted “an annihilation of our State”, with the government vowing to “change the face of reality” in Gaza.
“Hamas was more barbaric and more brutal than ISIS. Hamas murdered hundreds of Israelis, men, women, and children, and took dozens hostages into Gaza. This horrific terror act demand a forceful, determined and sustained response, which is exactly what we are doing,” the Israeli Defence Forces said in its latest statement.
A rocket rained down on a hotel in Israel’s Ashkelon, barely a few kilometres from the Gaza strip, this morning as NDTV 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. (NDTV Ground Report)
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 on Sunday, signaling their “unwavering” support for its ally in the face of escalating attacks by Hamas.
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.
Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah said it fired “large numbers of artillery shells and guided missiles” at Israeli positions in a contested border area. It said the assault was “in solidarity” with the attack launched by Hamas.
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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