Home Europe Israel says it’s regained control of Gaza border towns attacked by Hamas

Israel says it’s regained control of Gaza border towns attacked by Hamas

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Israeli troops have reasserted control over all towns bordering the Gaza Strip which were attacked by Hamas terrorists over the weekend, a spokesperson for Israel’s military said Monday.

“We are in control of the settlements,” Daniel Hagari, spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said in a statement, but warning that Hamas fighters might still be present in the area.

In response to the massive Hamas attack which began Saturday morning with terrorists surging out of Gaza to kill and kidnap hundreds of civilians, Israeli forces have retaliated with mighty force, fighting militants in several locations and conducting air strikes on Gaza.

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Monday he had ordered a “complete siege” of the Gaza Strip in retaliation to Hamas’ offensive, according to local media reports. Israeli Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Israel Katz also said he was ordering Gaza’s water supply to be “immediately cut off.”

“There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed,” Gallant said.

The Israeli army has mobilized 300,000 reservists — close to two-thirds of the country’s part-time soldiers, on which the Israeli defense forces are heavily reliant — over the past two days, IDF spokesperson Hagari added.

Hamas has killed more than 700 people and wounded more than 2,000 on the Israeli side during its incursion — the highest number of losses suffered by Israel since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed “mighty vengeance” for the attack and Israel’s government officially declared war against Hamas, launching a powerful counteroffensive.

Israeli air forces said they attacked several “strategic centers” on Monday, including a weapons warehouse, operational headquarters and an entrance to an underground tunnel in Gaza. As of Monday, Israel’s military had hit more than 1,000 targets in the Gaza Strip.

Qatar-based news outlet Al-Jazeera reported that Israel also hit the Jabalia and al-Shati refugee camps with “two massive raids,” causing dozens of casualties. The Palestinian Ministry of Health said Israel’s retaliation has killed nearly 500 people and injured more than 2,000 in Gaza so far. 

Hamas’ offensive also continued into Monday, with reports of rockets landing near Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport and warning sirens sounding in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. 

In the meantime, the international community has condemned Hamas’ brutal attack. On Monday, Austria said it suspended aid to the Palestinians, while Germany said no aid payments were currently being made, but that it would review its pledged donations.

The EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said EU foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss developments in the region. 

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