The escalation between Israel and Palestine, dubbed as a war with Hamas by the Israel Defense Forces, has entered its fifth day since Hamas’s surprise attack on 7 October.
Death tolls on each side continue to rise as the Israeli siege on Gaza escalates, and as Israel hints at a potential ground invasion. Warning signs of cross-border violence are also increasing with mortar shells launched from Syria.
A series of mortar shells were fired from Syria, which neighbours Israel to the north. The attacks prompted Israel to fire back.
Militants from Lebanon’s Hezbollah crossed into the Israeli-occupied Dharya village, resulting in the death of three Israeli soldiers.
The development of cross-border violence raises alarms that the conflict could escalate to a wider war.
Israel’s ‘complete siege’ on Gaza witnessed more missile strikes, hitting over 200 targets on 10 October.
Palestine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted that a total of 22,639 residential units and 10 health facilities have been destroyed since the attack on Gaza. An additional 48 schools were also destroyed or severely damaged due to airstrikes.
Gaza’s Islamic University was among the destroyed buildings, claiming that the educational institution was used as a base for military intelligence and training soldiers. Established in 1978, it was the first higher education institution in the Gaza Strip.
In a separate tweet, the ministry also reported that artillery that released white phosphorus gas, an internationally prohibited weapon, was fired in Gaza.
Israel’s Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant was recorded announcing plans for a ground invasion while giving a speech to Israeli soldiers.
The minister’s statements come a few days after it was revealed that 300,000 Israeli reservists were drafted – indicating an offensive approach to the escalation.
United States President Joe Biden confirmed that US citizens are among the hostages currently held by Hamas, as reported by CNN. He also proclaimed the surprise attack by the militant group as an act of ‘sheer evil’, drawing parallels with terrorist group the Islamic State.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is expected to arrive in Israel on Thursday, 12 October, in support of the Jewish state, followed by a visit to Jordan to discuss the situation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed American foreign policy as the cause for escalation, claiming that the policies failed to take into account the needs of Palestinians.
Iran’s top authority Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected claims that there was Iranian involvement with Hamas’s attack during a televised speech.
The leader did, however, hail the attack.
“We kiss the hands of those who planned the attack on the Zionist regime,” said Khamenei during his speech.
Egyptian trucks on their way to provide food and medical aid to Palestinians trapped in Gaza were forced to turn back after airstrikes damaged roads connecting the Rafah crossing.
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