Israel vows to punish Gaza as fallout from Hamas attack felt
World.- The Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalated dramatically, with Israel launching extensive airstrikes on Gaza and cutting off food, fuel, and other supplies in response to a violent incursion by Hamas militants. Hamas, in turn, pledged to kill captured Israelis if attacks targeted civilians without warning.
This fourth day of the war saw Israel continuing to find bodies from Hamas’ weekend attack on southern Israeli cities. The conflict has already resulted in the deaths of at least 1,600 people.
Israel intensified shelling in central Gaza City, expanded the mobilization of reservists to 360,000, and declared war formally, indicating a shift towards an offensive against Hamas. This poses a threat of further destruction in the densely populated and impoverished Gaza Strip, with the possibility of a ground invasion.
The Israeli military targeted numerous areas in Gaza City, including Rimal, a densely populated neighborhood. Residents faced widespread devastation, and civilians were warned to evacuate certain areas before intense airstrikes were launched.
Hamas’ strategy and goals came into question as Israel’s response grew fiercer. The radical militia had not publicly addressed the potential consequences of its attack, including the loss of government infrastructure.
The United Nations reported that over 187,000 residents in Gaza had fled their homes, the largest exodus since the 2014 conflict. UNRWA hosted tens of thousands of people in its schools, and the crisis continued to escalate with casualties on both sides, including deaths and injuries.
Hamas threatened to kill Israeli civilians in response to attacks on Gaza homes, while Israel warned that harming hostages would be considered a war crime. The conflict showed no signs of abating, with casualties mounting and both sides locked in a cycle of violence.