Israel escalates attacks on Gaza and clashes with Hamas fighters kill nearly 1,200

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel stepped up airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and cut it off from food, fuel and other supplies on Monday, in response to a bloody offensive by Hamas militants, as both sides in the war The death toll from the side reached nearly 1,600. Hamas also escalated the conflict by vowing to kill Israeli prisoners if civilians were targeted without warning.

On the third day of the war, Israel was still receiving dead bodies from Hamas. A wonderful weekend attack In the towns of southern Israel. Rescue workers found 100 bodies in the small farming community of Bari – about 10% of its population – after a long hostage standoff with gunmen. In Gaza, tens of thousands of people have fled their homes as buildings have been demolished as a result of sustained airstrikes.

The Israeli military says it has regained control of much of the south after seizing its military and intelligence equipment following the attack. Completely off guard And for the first time in decades, it led to fierce fighting in its streets. Hamas and other militants in Gaza say they are holding more than 130 soldiers and civilians taken from inside Israel.

Israeli tanks and drones were deployed to guard the Gaza border fence to prevent new infiltration. Thousands of Israelis were evacuated from more than a dozen towns near Gaza, and the army called up 300,000 reservists — a massive mobilization in a short amount of time.

This move along with Israel Formal declaration of war on Sundaypointed to Israel’s swift offensive against Hamas, threatening further devastation in the densely populated, impoverished Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an address on national television that we have launched an attack on Hamas. “What we do to our enemies in the coming days will reverberate with them for generations.”

As the Israeli military has brought additional forces closer to the border, a big question has been whether it will launch a ground attack in the small Mediterranean coastal region. The last land attack was in 2014.

According to the media, about 900 people have already been killed in Israel, including 73 soldiers. According to the authorities in Gaza, more than 680 people have been killed. Israel says hundreds of Hamas fighters are among them. Thousands of people have been injured on both sides.

In response to the Israeli airstrikes, Abu Obaidah, a spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing, said Monday night that the group would kill an Israeli citizen “without warning” whenever Israel targets civilians in their homes in Gaza. will

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen warned Hamas against harming any of the hostages, saying, “This war crime will not be forgiven.” Appointed military commander.

Israel and Hamas have repeatedly clashed over the years, often fueled by tensions surrounding the holy site of Jerusalem. This time, the context is potentially more explosive. Both sides talk of a break with the violence that has left a peace process plagued by a years-long Israeli-Palestinian standoff.

The surprise weekend attack by Hamas eclipsed the death toll since the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria. He called for crushing Hamas at any cost, rather than continuing to try to lock it into Gaza. Israel is run by its most hard-right government ever, dominated by ministers who vehemently reject a Palestinian state.

Hamas, on the other hand, says it is ready for a protracted war to end the Israeli occupation, which it says is no longer sustainable. Desperation has grown among Palestinians, many of whom see nothing to lose Endless Israeli control And growing Settler depredations In the West Bank, the blockade of Gaza and what they see as world indifference.

Attacks by both sides created more scenes of destruction on Monday. In Israel’s southern coastal city of Ashkelon, a man holding crutches in one hand and an older boy with the other joined shepherds being evacuated from a street after a rocket exploded in front of a house.

In Gaza, Palestinians move the bodies of the dead from a crowd of men in the rubble of the Jabaliya refugee camp.

Early Monday evening, explosions echoed over Jerusalem as a volley of rockets fired from Gaza hit two neighborhoods in a sign of Hamas’ reach. Israeli media say that seven have been injured.

Israeli warplanes heavily bombarded the residential and commercial district of Raml in central Gaza City after issuing an evacuation warning to residents. The headquarters building of the Palestinian Telecommunications Company was destroyed during the continuous explosions.

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have destroyed 790 homes and seriously damaged 5,330, the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs’ liaison office said Tuesday morning. Damage to three water and sanitation facilities cut off services to up to 400,000.

Israeli Defense Minister Yves Galant ordered a “total siege” on Gaza, saying authorities would cut off electricity and prevent the entry of food and fuel.

John Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council aid group, warned that Israel’s siege would lead to “absolute disaster” for the people of Gaza.

“There is no doubt that collective punishment is a violation of international law,” he told The Associated Press. If and when it leads to the death of injured children in hospitals due to lack of energy, electricity and supplies, it may amount to war crimes.

The Israeli blockade would leave Gaza almost entirely dependent on its Rafah crossing into neighboring Egypt, where cargo capacity is smaller than other crossings into Israel.

An Egyptian military official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, said more than 2 tons of medical supplies had been sent to Gaza by the Egyptian Red Crescent and food and other supplies. Efforts are underway to manage.

Tens of thousands of Gazans continued to flee. The United Nations said on Tuesday that more than 187,000 of Gaza’s 2.3 million people had fled their homes – uprooting nearly 400,000 in 2014 by Israel’s air and ground offensive.

UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees, is sheltering more than 137,000 people in schools across the region. Families have taken in about 41,000 others.

In the southern Gaza city of Rafah, an Israeli airstrike on Monday morning killed 19 people, including women and children, said Talat Barhoum, a doctor at the local Al-Najr Hospital.

According to Israeli Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, hundreds of Hamas militants were buried under the rubble of buildings destroyed by Israel in the last 48 hours. Their claims could not be verified.

New exchanges on Israel’s northern border on Monday raised fears that the war could spread to a new front.

Palestinian militants from the Islamic Jihad group defected from Lebanon to Israel, triggering Israeli shelling in southern Lebanon. Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group said five of its members were killed, and it retaliated with rockets and mortar fire at two Israeli army bases across the border.

After breaching Israeli barricades with explosives early Saturday morning, an estimated 1,000 Hamas gunmen rampaged for hours, gunning down civilians and looting towns, highways, and more. A techno music festival Thousands of people participated in the desert. Palestinian militants have also fired 4,400 rockets at Israel, according to the military.

Hamas spokesman Abdul Latif al-Qunawa told the AP that the group’s fighters were continuing to fight outside Gaza and had captured more Israelis as recently as Monday morning.

He said the group’s goal is to release all Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, which it has agreed to in the past. Unilateral exchange deals in which he released large numbers of prisoners for individual captives or even the remains of soldiers.

The hostages include soldiers and civilians, including women, children and the elderly, mostly Israelis but also some of other nationalities.

Hamas has ruled Gaza since ousting forces loyal to the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority in 2007, and His rule has not been challenged. Through the blockade and four previous wars with Israel.

Meanwhile, restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the West Bank entered their fourth day. Israeli authorities have sealed off crossings leading to occupied territory and closed checkpoints, halting movement between cities and towns. According to the United Nations, 15 Palestinians have been killed in clashes between stone-throwing Palestinians and the Israeli army since the beginning of the occupation.


Adwan reported from Rafah, Gaza Strip. AP writers Isabel Debre and Julia Frankel in Jerusalem; Wafa Shurafa in Gaza City; Tia Goldenberg in Tel Aviv, Israel; Basim Maru and Karim Chehib in Beirut; Sami Magdi in Cairo; and Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran contributed to this report.

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