The clashes which have already erupted hundreds of deaths on both sides continue on Sunday between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas, which attacked the day before by surprise, firing thousands of rockets from the Gaza Strip and infiltrating hundreds of fighters into Israeli territory, where he also captured several civilians and soldiers.
The fighting, the deadliest in decades, left “more than 200 dead” and “more than 1,000 injured” on the Israeli side, according to the army which accused Hamas of having “massacred civilians” even in their homes.
In the Gaza Strip, where the Israeli army has been carrying out dozens of retaliatory airstrikes since Saturday, Hamas has counted 232 dead and 1,697 injured.
Qualifying Gaza as ” city of Evil”, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to use “the full might” of the army to avenge “a black day”.
“What happened today is unprecedented in Israel,” he admitted during a televised speech. “All these places where Hamas is hiding (…) we are going to turn them into ruins,” he promised.
“We are on the verge of winning a great victory,” he said. affirmed for his part Ismaïl Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas.
– Boats and paragliders –
Hostilities began at dawn on Saturday with a barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip towards neighboring Israeli towns and as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Taking advantage of the element of surprise, Hamas fighters aboard vehicles, boats and even motorized paragliders made use of the imposing security barrier erected by Israel around the Gaza Strip, attacking military positions or civilians in the streets.
“I saw a lot of bodies,” Shlomi, an Israeli, told AFP, alongside covered corpses on a road near Kibbutz Gevim, in the south of the country.
“There are “There are still 22 places where we are fighting against terrorists who came to Israel by air, sea and land,” Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, Israeli army spokesman, said Saturday evening.
Israeli emergency services evacuate a wounded man near the town of Sderot, in southern Israel, on October 7, 2023 © AFP – Menahem KAHANA
This officer reported “hundreds” of infiltrators still present on Israeli soil after a “powerful ground invasion”.
This spectacular escalation comes fifty years and one day after the start of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war which took Israel completely by surprise in the middle of Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement), leading to the deaths of 2,600 Israelis and killing at least 9,500. dead and missing on the Arab side in three weeks of combat.
– Israelis captured –
Palestinians take control of an Israeli tank after crossing the border with Israel from Khan Yunis, October 7, 2023 in the south of the Gaza Strip © AFP – SAID KHATIB
The Ezzedine al-Qassam brigades , the armed branch of Hamas, claimed in a video to have “captured several enemy soldiers” and the al-Quds Brigades, the military branch of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, also declared to have “many soldiers” Israeli.
The army spokesperson confirmed that “Israeli soldiers and civilians” had been kidnapped.
The commander of the Al-Qassam brigades, Mohammad Deif, announced that he had launched an operation called “Al-Aqsa flood” against Israel and had fired more than “5,000 rockets” to “put an end to all the crimes of the occupation” .
The Israeli army, for its part, counted more than 3,000 rocket attacks. It launched Operation Steel Sabers and carried out airstrikes on the Palestinian enclave, destroying, among other things, the three buildings of more than ten floors of the “Palestine Tower”.
Doctors Without Borders said a strike hit a hospital in the enclave, causing several deaths.
Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip continued at dawn on Sunday, according to journalists from the AFP. The Israeli army, for its part, continues to strike the territory, destroying several buildings presented as Hamas “command centers”.
– Clashes in the West Bank –
The conflict is causing disruptions at Tel Aviv airport and schools will remain closed on Sunday, the start of the week in Israel.
In the occupied West Bank, six Palestinians were killed and 120 injured in clashes with Israeli forces and settlers, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Joe Biden during his speech on events in the Middle East, at the White House in Washington, October 7, 2023 © AFP – Jim WATSON
This outbreak of violence has been condemned by many governments across the world. US President Joe Biden assured Israel of his “unwavering support” on Saturday.
According to a senior White House official, the United States and Israel held an “in-depth discussion” on Saturday on the needs of military aid from the Jewish state.
And US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukri in the hope that Egypt, a key intermediary between Israel and Hamas, helps put an end to hostilities.
The UN announced that it had convened an emergency meeting of the Security Council on the Middle East on Sunday evening.
L Iran, for its part, applauded the offensive. “We support this proud operation,” announced Revolutionary Guards General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, quoted by the Isna agency.
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