Israel vows retaliation after deadliest day in 50 years

Israel vows retaliation after deadliest day in 50 years

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Gunmen from the Palestinian group Hamas have rampaged through Israeli cities, killing at least 250 Israelis and fleeing with dozens of hostages, the deadliest wave of violence in Israel since the Yom Kippur War 50 years ago. It’s day.

More than 230 Gazans were also killed when Israel responded with one of its most devastating retaliatory strikes.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We will retaliate strongly for this dark day.”

“Hamas launched a cruel and evil war. We will win this war but the cost is too heavy to bear,” he said. “Hamas wants to kill all of us. It is an enemy that murders mothers and children in their homes, in their beds. An enemy who kidnaps the elderly, children, teenage girls.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the attack that started in Gaza would spread to the West Bank and Jerusalem. Gazans have been living under Israeli blockade for 16 years.

“It was the morning of defeat and humiliation on our enemy, his soldiers and those who lived there,” he said in a speech. “What happened shows the greatness of our preparation. What happened today reveals the weakness of the enemy.”

Bodies of Israeli civilians were scattered on the streets of Sderot in southern Israel, near Gaza, surrounded by broken glass. The bodies of a woman and a man were spread out on the front seats of a car.

Terrified Israelis locked in secure rooms called in on live TV to describe their plight.

“They just came again, please send help,” a woman named Doreen told Israel’s N12 News from Nir Oz, a kibbutz near Gaza. “My husband has locked the door… They are opening fire.”

The Israeli military said senior military officers were among those killed in fighting near Gaza.

Israeli troops clashed with Hamas fighters throughout the night in parts of southern Israel. In a briefing on social media, an Israeli army spokesman said the situation was not completely under control.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s office said the Security Cabinet had approved steps to destroy the military and government capabilities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad “for several years”, including cutting off electricity and fuel supplies and blocking access to goods into Gaza. Admission included.

In Gaza, black smoke and orange flames billowed into the evening sky from a tall tower hit by Israeli counterattacks. Crowds of mourners were carrying the bodies of slain militants through the streets, wrapped in green Hamas flags.

Gaza’s dead and injured were taken to dilapidated and overcrowded hospitals due to severe shortages of medical supplies and equipment. The Health Ministry said 232 people were killed and at least 1,700 were injured.

The streets were deserted except for ambulances rushing to the scene of the air strikes.

Israel cut off electricity, plunging the city into darkness.

Hamas said it fired 150 rockets toward Tel Aviv on Saturday evening in response to an Israeli airstrike that hit a high-rise building containing more than 100 apartments.

Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri told Al-Jazeera that the group is holding a large number of Israeli hostages, including senior officials.

He said that Hamas has enough prisoners to free all the Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

The Israeli military confirmed that Israelis were being held in Gaza.

A military spokesman said Israel could mobilize hundreds of thousands of reservists and was also prepared for war on its northern front against Lebanon’s Hezbollah group.

Hamas said the attack was motivated by Israel’s increasing attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

“This is the day of the greatest battle to end the last occupation on earth,” Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif said in a broadcast on Hamas media announcing the start of the operation and calling on Palestinians everywhere to fight. “

In Gaza, a narrow strip where 2.3 million Palestinians have lived under an Israeli blockade for 16 years, residents rushed to buy supplies in anticipation of days of war.

Some people fled their homes and headed towards shelters.

“We are scared,” Palestinian woman Amal Abu Dakka told Reuters as she left her home in Khan Younis.

US President Joe Biden condemned the Palestinian attack and pledged support for Israel.

“This is not the time for any party hostile to Israel to take advantage of these attacks. The world is watching,” he said.

A senior Biden administration official told reporters that the United States is in intensive talks with Israel about its specific needs to respond to the attack.


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