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Death Toll Rises As Hamas And Israel Clash In Unprecedented Rocket Attacks and Airstrikes

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Escalation of Conflict: Israel and Hamas Clash in Unprecedented Attack.
Escalation of Conflict: Israel and Hamas Clash in Unprecedented Attack. (Photo: Reuters)

More than 1,000 people were killed in a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel over the weekend. The current death toll, as reported by the Israeli Embassy in the US, has reached 1,008, with at least 3,418 people sustaining injuries.

The surprise assault included the infiltration of fighters into Israeli communities, resulting in the capture of an unknown number of Israeli soldiers and civilians, a deeply sensitive issue for Israel.

Israel retaliated with airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, killing and wounding an untold number of people.

According to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Israeli jets targeted more than 100 “targets” in the Al-Furqan area on Tuesday. The IDF further reported that, within the last day, they have attacked over 250 targets in the same region.

Additionally, the defense forces revealed strikes in the Rafah area, including an underground tunnel employed for “smuggling weapons and equipment.”

The attack by Hamas, labeled “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm” by Hamas, escalated tensions, prompting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare war.

“We are at war,” Netanyahu said in a televised address emphasizing the gravity of the situation and vowing to inflict an “unprecedented price” on Hamas.

The audacity of the attack took Israelis by surprise, as Hamas militants employed explosives to breach the border fence, utilizing motorcycles, pickup trucks, paragliders, and even speed boats on the coast. Disturbing images circulated on social media, showing dead Israeli civilians and Hamas militants in the streets of Israeli towns.

The leader of Hamas’ military wing, Mohammed Deif, attributed the attack to the longstanding blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza since 2007, Israeli raids in the West Bank, and the growth of illegal settlements.

The attack unfolded against a backdrop of internal division within Israel over Netanyahu’s proposed overhaul of the judiciary, sparking mass protests and raising concerns about the military’s preparedness and deterrence. Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group, congratulated Hamas and expressed solidarity against what it deemed “Israeli crimes.”

The bitter history between Israel and Hamas, including four wars, has left a devastating impact on the Gaza Strip’s economy. Tensions have further escalated with increased settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence, and ongoing disputes over Jerusalem.

This story has been updated to include new developments in the Hamas-Israel crisis.

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