At least 232 Palestinians have been reported dead and over 1,600 reported injured by Gaza Health officials on 7 October, after Israel responded with massive airstrikes on Gaza to militant group Hamas’ unprecedented attack.
Hamas launched a massive surprise attack against Israel on the morning of the same day, crossing the Gaza-Israel border and entering several southern Israeli towns while launching rockets from Gaza. Over 250 Israelis have been reported dead and over 1,400 injured, according to the Israeli rescue service.
Deputy chief of Hamas, Saleh Al-Arouri said that a large number of Israelis were being held captive in Gaza, among them top officials. In an interview with Al-Jazeera he added that Hamas has “enough captives to make Israel free all Palestinians in its jails.”
“We are at war, not in an operation or in rounds, but at war,” Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.
“At the same time, I have ordered an extensive mobilization of reserves and that we return fire of a magnitude that the enemy has not known. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price.”
Meanwhile, head of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh called the events a “morning of defeat and humiliation” on Israel. “What happened reveals the greatness of our preparation. What happened today reveals the weakness of the enemy.”
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, on his part, said that Palestinians have the right to defend themselves against “terrorism and occupation forces.”
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry warned of “grave consequences to the ongoing escalation between the Palestinian and Israeli sides” and called for “practicing maximum restraint and avoiding endangering civilians.”
The Ministry warned that increasing violence may affect future de-escalation efforts.
Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry shared phone calls with his American, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, German, French, Emirati, and Jordanian counterparts, as well as the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to discuss de-escalation efforts.
United States President Joe Biden held a press conference, expressing his country’s staunch support of Israel, citing its right to defend itself against what he referred to as terrorism.
“The United States stands with Israel,” Biden said. “We will not ever fail to have her back.”
The BBC reports that Israel is launching a “major investigation” to determine the reason for the intelligence failure in seeing the attack coming.