Terrorists Take Hostage Over 130 Israelis
Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian militant organization Hamas have alleged that they are holding over 130 Israelis captured in the Gaza Strip. Islamic Jihad head Ziad al-Nakhal and Hamas chief Moussa Abu Marzouk say they will only release the Israelis held hostage after the Israeli government frees all Palestinian prisoners.
According to the two leaders, their groups took captive Israeli women, the elderly, children and Israel Defence Forces officials in a surprise attack over the weekend in which multiple rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip, with hundreds of terrorists invading the Israeli territory.
Meanwhile, the Israeli soldiers have started a rescue mission after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that the country’s security cabinet had approved his proposal to put Israel officially at war, allowing defense forces to conduct heavy military activities.
Israel Defence Forces Respond to Hamas Attacks
Following the approval, the top spokesman for Israel Defence Forces, Daniel Hagari, revealed last night that over 60 fighter jets were sent to the Beit Hanoun neighborhood, where they demolished more than 110 sites believed to have been used by Hamas terrorists to launch attacks.
On Saturday noon, Hamas group members had managed to invade over 20 locations in the south of Israel, with some situated more than 25 kilometers from the Gaza Strip. According to reports, the terrorists roamed around these locations for hours, targeting civilians before Israeli soldiers responded.
The defense forces’ failure to respond on time has prompted demands for answers from various Israel-based human rights groups. Many want to know why the terrorists were given so much time to roam around civilian communities, harming defenseless Israelis.
Death Toll Continues to Rise
Meanwhile, the non-profit organization that handles human bodies during terror attacks, ZAKA, has reported that more than 700 Israeli citizens have lost their lives. While speaking to Hebrew Media on Sunday evening, a ZAKA spokesperson said the death toll is likely to rise as the war continues.
Israel’s Health Ministry, on the other hand, reports that the number of citizens hospitalized has hit 2,300. Of this figure, 345 are seriously injured, while 25 are in critical condition.
Several Western governments have already expressed their support for Israel as they condemn Hamas’ attacks on civilians. It remains to be seen how they will help put the war to an end.