Israeli warplanes continue to pound Gaza in retaliation against Hamas
With Israel having declared itself "at war", over 400 targets were hit in the Gaza Strip, even as Hamas warned it was holding hostages in multiple locations across the area
With Israel having formally declared itself at war, setting the stage for a major military operation in Gaza, the bombardment continues over two days — ever since the Saturday, 7 October, early morning attack by Palestinian militant Hamas.
The shock attack led to the deadliest day in decades for Israel and came after months of surging violence between Palestinians and Israelis.
In retaliation, Israel has responded by launching airstrikes on what it said were Hamas targets in Gaza, while its forces clashed on the ground with Hamas fighters in villages, army bases and border crossings. Netanyahu said that the military was "clearing terrorists" out of Israeli communities and "restoring control".
Israeli warplanes continued to pound Gaza on Sunday morning with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) saying it has struck 426 targets in Gaza, including 10 towers used by Hamas.
Israel said that drones were used overnight on Saturday–Sunday to strike "a number of terrorist squads in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip", the CNN reported.
Questions are also swirling over how the Israeli military and intelligence apparatus appeared to be caught off guard in one of the country's worst security failures, CNN reported.
Throughout Saturday, Hamas launched thousands of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel — with direct hits on multiple locations inside the country, including Tel Aviv — while armed militants entered Israel and infiltrated military bases, towns and farms, shooting at civilians and taking hostages.
"We are well north of 600 people who have been killed, there will probably be more hundreds, several hundred more," Israeli minister of strategic affairs Ron Dermer told CNN.
The Hamas group in turn claimed to have captured "dozens" of Israelis, including soldiers, and were holding them in "safe places and resistance tunnels", CNN reported.
Palestinian militant group Hamas said captured Israeli hostages are being held across Gaza and warned against attacks in the area.
"Threatening Gaza and its people is a losing game and a broken record," said Abu Obaida, spokesperson for the Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in a recorded audio message late on Saturday night.
"What happens to the people of the Gaza Strip will happen to them and beware of miscalculation," the message said.
With inputs from IANS
Published: 09 Oct 2023, 10:31 AM