Israel-Gaza war continues for third day; death toll surpasses 1100


JERUSALEM – Deadly skirmishes continued to rage on Israeli soil, with over 710 people reported dead in Hamas attacks, and more than 400 Gaza residents killed in Israeli air raids, as Tel Aviv reacts to the deadliest attack on its own soil in nearly 5 decades.

Jewish state escalated bombardment in Gaza over the weekend, declaring war as Palestinian resistance group said their fighters continued to battle against Israel.

Hamas members have done serious damage in Israel and citizens were most who are suffering from unseen mayhem. The militant group, who dodged Israeli intelligence, also took hostage several people including some army officials and families.

Amid warnings of long conflict, Israeli PM Netanyahu warned of stern retaliation, saying Tel Aviv would take mighty vengeance and was readying for a long and difficult war. He also intimidated Palestinians to leave now.

Israeli forces claimed to target nearly dozen Hamas targets in multistory buildings in Gaza, including the its production site, arms storage, intelligence headquarters and military compound.

Pakistan and several nations called for a ceasefire in Israel-Palestine war. Turkey said it would try and lead peace diplomacy but added that a two-state solution was the only real solution.

US President Joe Biden has waned Iran and others, to stay away from the development, saying “This is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks.” As Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi telephoned the Hamas officials to congratulate him for the victory.

US to send military ships, aircraft closer to Israel ‘as a show of support’

United States announced it would send multiple military ships and aircraft closer to Israel as a show of support. The announcement was made by US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin. He said Washington believes that Hamas’ latest attack may have been motivated to disrupt a potential normalizing of Israel-Saudi Arabia ties.

Hamas fighters rampaged through Israeli towns as the country suffered its bloodiest day in decades on Saturday. Israel battered Palestinians with air strikes in Gaza on Sunday, with hundreds reportedly killed on both sides. The spiraling violence threatens to start a major new war in the Middle East.

Austin said the US would provide munitions to Israel, and that its security assistance would begin moving on Sunday. The Pentagon will be adding fighter jets to the region as well, he said.

Earlier on Sunday, US President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that additional assistance for the Israeli Defence Forces was on its way and more would follow in the coming days. An announcement in this regard was made by the White House after the the telephonic contact between the two leaders.

Austin said he ordered moving a carrier strike group closer to Israel, which includes the Ford carrier and ships that support it. “I have directed the movement of the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said in his statement.

The attack by Hamas launched at dawn on Saturday represented the biggest and deadliest incursion into Israel since Egypt and Syria launched a sudden assault in an effort to reclaim lost territory in the Yom Kippur war 50 years ago.

Israel attacks southern Lebanon after Hezbollah strikes Shebaa Farms

Soon after Hezbollah targeted three Israeli military positions in the disputed Shebaa Farms, Israel fired barrages of artillery into southern Lebanon on Sunday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The most serious attack in years on Saturday by Palestinian gunmen on Israeli towns left at least 250 Israelis dead, with another 230 Gazans killed in Israel’s retaliatory bombardment.

Hezbollah, a powerful armed party backed by Iran, said it had launched guided rockets and artillery onto three posts in the Shebaa Farms “in solidarity” with the Palestinian people.

The Israeli military said on Sunday it fired artillery into an area of Lebanon where cross-border mortar fire was launched. “IDF (Israel Defense Forces) artillery is currently striking the area in Lebanon from where a shooting was carried out,” it said.

Israel’s military said one its drones struck a Hezbollah post in the area of Har Dov, an area in Shebaa.
“At this point, there is no further threat in Har Dov or the northern arena,” IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said in televised remarks, adding that the military remained on high alert.

Israel has held the Shebaa Farms, a 15-square-mile (39-square-km) patch of land, since 1967. Both Syria and Lebanon claim the Shebaa Farms are Lebanese.

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon, known as UNIFIL, said it had “detected several rockets fired from southeast Lebanon toward Israeli-occupied territory” as well as artillery fire from Israel into Lebanon in response.

“We are in contact with authorities on both sides of the Blue Line, at all levels, to contain the situation and avoid a more serious escalation,” spokesperson Andrea Tenenti said.

The Blue Line is the demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel, marking where Israeli forces withdrew when they left south Lebanon in 2000.

On Saturday, UNIFIL said it had enhanced its presence in southern Lebanon following developments in Israel and Gaza, including its operations to counter rocket launches.

The UN’s special coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka said on the platform X, formerly known as Twitter, that she was “deeply concerned” by the exchange of fire and urged parties to “shield Lebanon and its people from further conflagration.”

Hezbollah, which effectively controls southern Lebanon, said on Saturday it was in “direct contact” with leaders of Palestinian “resistance” groups and that it saw Palestinian attacks on Israel as a “decisive response to Israel’s continued occupation and a message to those seeking normalization with Israel.

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