Israel and Hamas are once again at war following a multi-pronged attack by the latter, marking one of the deadliest days in the former’s history since the 1970s.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, terrorists affiliated with the Palestinian group Hamas launched an attack on Israel on Saturday, firing thousands of rockets into the country and carrying out an armed incursion that resulted in the capture of a still undetermined number of Israeli citizens and military personnel who are now believed to be in Gaza. Israel subsequently retaliated with airstrikes, reportedly targeting Hamas installations.
“The Israel Defense Forces will act immediately to destroy Hamas’s capabilities. We will cripple them mercilessly and avenge this black day they have brought upon Israel and its citizens,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a televised address, according to The Times of Israel.
More than 300 Israelis have been reported killed, and more than 1,590 sustained injuries. The incursion by Hamas took place at 22 different sites in southern Israel, with some firefights between terrorists and Israeli law enforcement and military personnel lasting well into the night.
In Gaza, more than 230 people have been killed, and roughly 1,790 are injured as of 9 p.m. CT, per ABC News.
Israel reportedly cut off Gaza’s access to electricity and fuel as it attacked Hamas positions, warning Gazans to leave their homes if they were near targeted areas, according to the Associated Press.
“We managed to kill and capture many Israeli soldiers. The fighting is still on,” said Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, speaking with Al Jazeera. “Our detainees in [Israeli] prisons, their freedom is looming large. What we have in our hands will release all our prisoners. The longer fighting continues, the higher the number of prisoners will become.”
In a statement to Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV station, according to The Times of Israel, Hamas military spokesperson Abu Ubaida said the number of Israelis taken hostage and transported to Gaza was “many times greater than what Netanyahu thinks.”
Earl Sunday morning, Israeli tanks and troops were amassing at the Gaza border as airstrikes rained down on Hamas positions.
Multiple rallies in Palestine and across the Middle East have been held in support of Hamas’ weekend assault, with revelers waving Palestinian flags and Hamas’ banner, according to The Times of Israel.
President Joe Biden addressed the developing situation on Saturday, saying:
“The United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, and I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel. Terrorism is never justified. Israel has a right to defend itself and its people. The United States warns against any other party hostile to Israel seeking advantage in this situation. My Administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.”
Officials from both sides of the day’s events have acknowledged a long, drawn-out military conflict may already be underway.