Israel: Hamas militants have issued a threat, stating that they would execute an Israeli civilian hostage without prior notice whenever there is an attack on civilians in the Gaza Strip. Amidst this, Israeli forces have reportedly discovered the remains of 100 individuals in a rural farming community where a hostage situation had unfolded. This incident adds to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas militants, resulting in a total of over 1,600 casualties on both sides.
Over 1600 casualties reported
The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict has resulted in a combined death toll exceeding 1,600 people. The Gaza Health Ministry reports 704 casualties, comprising 143 children and 105 women, along with over 4,000 injuries due to Israeli airstrikes during the four-day standoff. Additionally, Israel has witnessed at least 900 fatalities and 2,600 injuries as a result of Hamas attacks.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made a pledge to target and eliminate the hiding places of the Hamas terrorist group, emphasising that Israel’s offensive against Hamas has just begun. He was quoted, “We didn’t want this war. It was forced upon us in the most brutal and savage way. But though Israel didn’t start this war, Israel will finish it.”
Israel has announced a comprehensive blockade on the Gaza Strip, which includes restrictions on the entry of food and fuel. This decision comes as Gaza is already grappling with a complete electricity blackout due to Israel’s cessation of power supply to the region following Hamas’ attacks on Israel over the weekend.
Hamas threatens to kill hostages
Hamas, the Islamist organisation in control of Gaza, has issued a threat stating that for every civilian residence bombed without prior warning, they will execute an Israeli hostage. In a video statement, Hamas spokesperson Abu Ubaida conveyed that Israel should be prepared to face consequences in exchange for the release of the captives.
A joint statement released on Tuesday by the United States, France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom expressed support for Israel amid the ongoing conflict with Hamas. Furthermore, the European Union reversed an earlier announcement of suspending aid to Palestinians in response to Hamas’ attack on Israel. This change followed complaints from EU member states, contending that the executive branch of the bloc had exceeded its authority.