Israel’s Netanyahu says offensive against Hamas is only just beginning

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that his country’s offensive against Hamas is only beginning, following a surprise attack from Gaza with an estimated 3,000 rockets fired into Israel and several infiltrations of Israel’s border.

Offensive escalations: Netanyahu declared a total siege on the Gaza Strip in response to the assault, the extent of which had not been seen since Hamas took control of the region in 2007.
* Israel has retaliated with missile strikes on Gaza to target Hamas, while also amassing troops for a potential ground invasion.
* Over 900 Israelis have reportedly been killed and thousands wounded, while at least 680 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli air strikes with thousands wounded as well.
* Hamas has said they will “execute a civilian hostage” whenever an Israeli strike kills civilians without warning. It is reported that they have already taken about 150 people hostage.

Global support for Israel: International leaders condemning Hamas for its acts of terrorism include those of the U.S., the UK, France, Germany, and Italy.
* In a joint statement, these leaders denounced Hamas’ terrorist actions as having no justification and not representing the aspirations of Palestinian people.
* U.S. President Biden confirmed the death of at least 11 American citizens in the conflict and believes US citizens may be among the Hamas hostages.
* Latin American countries are reporting missing citizens and are making efforts to evacuate their citizens from the conflict zone.
* The U.S. has offered Israel air defense and is moving to quickly deliver munitions.

Impact on Gaza’s health system: The escalating conflict is putting a serious strain on Gaza’s already struggling healthcare system.
* Dr. Medhat Abbas, director general of Gaza’s Health Ministry, stated that Israel’s offensive, the closure of borders, and lack of resources could lead to the collapse of Gaza’s health system.
* Abbas reported several ambulances have been struck and at least five medical staff members, including an ambulance driver, have been killed.

View original article on NPR

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