Home Latest News Israel promises strong retaliation following unexpected Hamas assault resulting in hundreds of casualties

Israel promises strong retaliation following unexpected Hamas assault resulting in hundreds of casualties

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Israel promises strong retaliation following unexpected Hamas assault resulting in hundreds of casualties

By Maayan Lubell, Nidal al-Mughrabi and Ammar Awad
JERUSALEM/GAZA/SDEROT (Reuters) – In a shocking and devastating turn of events, gunmen from the Palestinian group Hamas launched a violent rampage through Israeli towns on Saturday. This deadly attack resulted in the deaths of at least 250 Israelis and the capture of numerous hostages, making it the deadliest day of violence in Israel since the Yom Kippur war 50 years ago. In response, Israel carried out retaliatory strikes, resulting in the deaths of over 230 Gazans. The fighting continued throughout the night, leaving both sides reeling from the loss of life and destruction.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to seek vengeance for this tragic day, labeling Hamas’ actions as cruel and wicked. He emphasized the enemy’s disregard for innocent lives, highlighting their acts of murder and abduction. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, on the other hand, declared that the assault would not be confined to Gaza but would spread to the West Bank and Jerusalem. Gaza, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, has been under an Israeli blockade for 16 years, exacerbating the ongoing tensions in the region.

The streets of Sderot, a town in southern Israel near Gaza, were left strewn with the bodies of Israeli civilians, a grim reminder of the devastating impact of the violence. Terrified residents recounted their harrowing experiences, seeking refuge in safe rooms while armed gunmen wreaked havoc. Esther Borochov, who survived an attack by playing dead, shared her terrifying ordeal. The situation remained volatile, with Israeli troops engaging in clashes with Hamas fighters throughout the night.

The Israeli government responded to the attack by approving measures aimed at crippling the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. These steps include cutting electricity and fuel supplies, as well as restricting the entry of goods into Gaza. As the conflict escalated, Gaza was shrouded in darkness after Israel cut off the power supply, exacerbating the dire conditions faced by the population.

World leaders, including President Joe Biden, expressed their condemnation of the attack while affirming Israel’s right to self-defense. President Biden issued a stern warning to Iran and other countries hostile to Israel, cautioning against exploiting the situation for their own gain. The United States, along with other governments, is working towards containing the crisis and preventing further escalation.

The attack received mixed reactions across the Middle East, with demonstrations in support of Hamas taking place in various countries. Iran and Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanese allies, praised the assault. The violence has left many Israelis on edge, with Dani Rahamim expressing his fear while waiting for the all-clear in Nahal Oz.

Hamas has claimed to be holding a significant number of Israeli captives, including senior officials, and has demanded the release of all Palestinians in Israeli jails. The group justifies their actions as a response to Israel’s intensified attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and within Israeli prisons.

The scenes of violence witnessed in Israel surpassed even the darkest days of the Palestinian Intifada uprisings. This shocking turn of events caught Israel off guard, highlighting a significant intelligence failure. Gaza, which has already suffered from four wars and countless skirmishes, now faces further devastation, while Israel grapples with the aftermath of this deadly attack.

As the conflict continues to escalate, it remains unclear when peace will be restored to the region. The Israeli government’s hard-line stance and the deteriorating conditions for Palestinians have only exacerbated the tensions. With peacemaking efforts stalled, both sides must confront the difficult path ahead in search of a resolution.