Israel Declares War on Hamas: A New Phase of Conflict Begins
Israeli Government Responds to Hamas Attack
The Israeli government has formally declared war on Hamas and has authorized “significant military steps” to retaliate against the surprise attack from the Gaza Strip. This marks the beginning of a new phase of conflict, with the death toll exceeding 900 and thousands wounded on both sides.
Hamas Incursion and Israeli Response
Israeli forces are currently engaged in efforts to eliminate the remaining groups of militant fighters holed up in several towns of southern Israel, more than 24 hours after the unprecedented incursion by Hamas. In response, Israeli airstrikes have pounded the Gaza Strip, resulting in over 300 deaths in Gaza and a staggering toll of over 600 deaths in Israel.
Civilians and Soldiers Seized by Hamas
Authorities are working to determine the number of civilians and soldiers seized by Hamas during the attack. Videos and witnesses confirm that the captives include women, children, and the elderly. The extent of planning by Hamas is evident with reports indicating the involvement of as many as 1,000 fighters in the assault.
High Price Paid by Civilians
Civilians on both sides of the conflict are already paying a high price. In Israel, families are desperately seeking information about missing loved ones, while in Gaza, residents fear an intensified onslaught as Israeli strikes flatten residential buildings.
Escalation of Conflict and Fear of Spread
With tensions escalating, an exchange of fire between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has raised fears of the conflict spreading. Hezbollah fired rockets and shells at Israeli positions, prompting a response from the Israeli military. The situation has since calmed, but concerns remain about Hezbollah’s potential involvement in the escalation of destruction in Gaza.
Israel’s Declaration of War and “Significant Military Steps”
The Israeli Security Cabinet has made a symbolic declaration of war, signaling a more lengthy, intense, and significant period of conflict. Additionally, the Cabinet has approved “significant military steps” to be taken, providing the military and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a wide mandate to retaliate against Hamas.
Netanyahu’s Vow and Objectives
Prime Minister Netanyahu has vowed that Hamas will pay an unprecedented price and warned that the war will be difficult and time-consuming. The aim of the Israeli government is to destroy Hamas’ military and governing capabilities to ensure long-term security for Israelis.
Intelligence Failure and Hostages in Gaza
The high death toll and slow response to the Hamas assault have revealed a major intelligence failure on the part of Israel. The presence of hostages in Gaza further complicates the situation, as Hamas seeks the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners. Efforts are being made to ensure the safety of the hostages, and discussions about a potential cease-fire are ongoing.
The Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
The ongoing conflict has plunged Gaza into a humanitarian crisis. With Israel cutting off electricity and supplies to the territory, many residents have been forced to seek shelter in UNWRA schools. The situation is dire, with people lacking transportation and unsure of where to go.
A Critical Moment in the Conflict
This declaration of war and the subsequent military steps approved by the Israeli government mark a critical moment in the ongoing conflict with Hamas. The extent of the destruction, the high number of casualties, and the involvement of other militant groups raise concerns about the escalation of violence and the potential for further regional involvement.
Read More of this Story at apnews.com – 2023-10-08 15:45:00
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