Deadly bombardment of Gaza continues

Henry

Israel continued its deadly bombardment of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on Tuesday. This after the Palestinian militant group threatened to kill some of the nearly 150 hostages if airstrikes continued without warning.

On Monday, Israel already launched a total attack on the Gaza Strip and suspended water, power and food to the region. This has given rise to fears that an already dire humanitarian situation will worsen very quickly.

Israel is reeling after Hamas’s unprecedented air, ground and sea attack, comparing it to the 9/11 attacks on the US.

The death toll in Israel has already risen to more than 900. The country responded by launching a wave of attacks on Gaza, where the death toll now stands at 687.

The Israeli army said on Tuesday it had “more or less restored control” of the Gaza border after Saturday’s mass incursion by armed Palestinian attackers.

The army says it has recovered the bodies of around 1,500 Hamas militants, an indication of the extent of Saturday’s attack. The army is also almost done taking communities in the vicinity of the border to safety.

Fireballs lit up Gaza City repeatedly on Tuesday as explosions could be heard and sirens continued to wail.

Hamas said on Monday that Israeli airstrikes had killed four of its hostages. Later, the group said he might start killing hostages himself.

“Every target of our people without warning will be answered by killing one of the hostages,” Hamas’s armed wing, Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said in a statement.

In a speech on TV late Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared the Hamas group to the Islamic State (IS), also known as Isis, and said Israel intends to deploy “unprecedented power”.

“Hamas terrorists captured, burned and killed children. They are barbarians. Hamas is Isis,” Netanyahu said.

He also undertook to strengthen forces in the north against Hezbollah, where militants and Israeli forces fired at each other for a second day. Hamas fired more rockets as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, while missile defense systems returned fire and air raid sirens blared.

Israel also called up 300,000 reservists for its “Swords of Iron” campaign.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says Israel will carry out a “total attack” on the enclave with its approximately 2.3 million inhabitants. “No power, no food, no water and no gas – it’s all turned off.”

The head of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, expressed his deep concern about the attack and warned that Gaza’s already precarious humanitarian situation is now “only going to worsen exponentially”.

Palestinians in the coastal area are bracing themselves for what many fear will be a massive Israeli ground attack in an attempt to defeat Hamas and free the hostages.

Israel, which boasts a technologically advanced army and highly efficient intelligence services, was shaken by the surprise attack and the country is now facing a war on several fronts.

Hamas’s attack penetrated the Gaza border strip – an area that was considered almost impenetrable and is guarded with the help of, among other things, surveillance cameras, drones, patrols and watchtowers.