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JERUSALEM/GAZA, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Israel said on Tuesday it had re-established control of its border with Gaza and laid landmines where Hamas militants toppled the separation wall in bloody weekend attacks. enclave.
Israel’s latest round of airstrikes comes after Hamas threatened to execute an Israeli prisoner every time Israel bombs a Palestinian home without warning.
The Israeli military has also called up an unprecedented 300,000 reservists and imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip, raising concerns that it plans to launch ground attacks in response to Hamas’s boldest and deadliest campaign in decades. attack.
The violence, which killed more than 1,500 people, prompted international statements of support for Israel, support for Palestinian street protests and calls for an end to the fighting and protection of civilians.
Israeli television channels said the death toll from Hamas attacks had climbed to 900 Israelis, with at least 2,600 injured and dozens captured. Among the Israeli dead were 260, mostly young people, who were shot dead at a desert music festival where some of the hostages were kidnapped.
Speaking on Israel Army Radio, the Israeli Army’s chief spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said there had been no new infiltrations in Gaza since Monday. In an apparent response to rumors that gunmen were using cross-border tunnels, he said the military had made no such findings.
Gaza’s health ministry said on Monday that Israeli air strikes on the blockaded enclave have killed at least 687 Palestinians and injured 3,726 since Hamas’ attack on Saturday.
The attack took place at apartment complexes, a mosque and a hospital and destroyed some roads and houses, according to media reports and witnesses.
Israel also bombed the headquarters of a private Palestinian telecommunications company, which could affect landline, Internet and mobile phone services.
The strike lasted until Monday night. The Israeli military said it struck targets in the Gaza Strip from sea and air, including a weapons depot it said belonged to Islamic Jihad and Hamas targets along the Gaza coast.
Hamas spokesman Abu Ubaida threatened on Monday to kill dozens of Israelis captured after Saturday morning’s raid. He said Hamas would execute without warning Israeli prisoners every time Israel bombed civilian homes and broadcast the executions.
The Israeli military did not immediately respond to the threat. Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said Hamas had captured more than 100 people in deadly cross-border incursions over the weekend.
forced to leave home
Palestinians reported receiving phone calls and mobile phone audio messages from Israeli security officials asking them to leave areas mainly in northern and eastern Gaza and warning that the army would move there.
Dozens of people fled their homes in Gaza city’s Remar neighborhood.
“We fled with ourselves, our children, our children and our daughters-in-law. I can say that we became refugees. We had no security. What kind of life is this? This is not life,” said resident Salah Hanouneh, 73 .
At the scene of a Hamas attack in southern Israel, Israel’s chief military spokesman said the army had regained control of occupied neighborhoods in Israel, but isolated clashes continued as some gunmen remained active.
News of the mobilization of 300,000 reservists in just two days has further fueled speculation that Israel may be considering a ground attack on Gaza, an area it abandoned nearly two decades ago.
“We have never called up so many reservists on this scale,” Hagari said. “We are on the offensive.”
Washington, which provides $3.8 billion in annual military aid to Israel, said it was providing Israel with new air defense systems, ammunition and other security assistance.
America’s top general warned Iran not to get involved in the crisis and said he did not want the conflict to expand. Iran has made no secret of its support for Hamas and praised the weekend attacks while denying any involvement.
“We want to send a very strong message,” Gen. Charles Q. Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told traveling reporters. “We don’t want this to escalate, and the idea is for Iran to send that message loud and clear.” Go to Brussels with him.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed U.S. support for Israel in a call with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, the State Department said in a statement earlier on Tuesday.
Blinken “reaffirmed our efforts to secure the immediate release of all hostages,” the statement said.
The governments of Italy, Thailand and Ukraine have reported that their citizens have been killed in Hamas attacks. In Washington, President Joe Biden announced that at least 11 Americans had been killed and that the hostages taken may include American citizens.
Amid Israel’s fierce retaliatory strikes on Gaza, Defense Minister Yove Galant announced a tightening of the blockade to prevent food and fuel from entering the Gaza Strip, home to 2.3 million people, a move that drew international condemnation.
Hamas-affiliated media said at least 20 people were killed in Israeli attacks on homes in Gaza late Monday. Palestinian media also reported that an Israeli airstrike on a building in Gaza City killed two Palestinian journalists and seriously injured another Palestinian journalist.
Reuters could not immediately confirm the reports. The Israeli military had no immediate comment.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said some 137,000 people have taken refuge with UNRWA, the U.N. agency that provides basic services to Palestinians.
The governments of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the United States issued a joint statement recognizing the “legitimate aspirations” of the Palestinian people and supporting equal justice and freedom measures for Israelis and Palestinians.
They also said they would maintain “unity and coordination” to ensure Israel can defend itself.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called on Hamas and Israel to immediately end the violence and protect civilians, the president said.
Qatari mediators issued an urgent appeal to try to win the freedom of Israeli women and children held by Hamas in exchange for the release of 36 Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons.
The prospect that the fighting could spread has alarmed the region and the world.
The Lebanese armed group Hezbollah fired rockets into northern Israel in response to the death of at least three of its members in Israeli shelling of Lebanon. Israel said one of its deputy commanders was killed in an earlier cross-border attack from Lebanon.
Emily Rose, Maayan Lubell and Ari Rabinovitch reported in Jerusalem, Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza and Ammar Anwar in Sderot; Henriette Chacar and Dan Williams in Jerusalem, Ali Sawafta in Ramallah, Steven Scheer in Modi’in and Additional reporting from the Washington Bureau; Writing by Michael Perry and Stephen Coates; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan
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