The Israeli government formally declared war Sunday and said that they will take “significant military steps” to retaliate against Hamas for its surprise attack.
At least 700 people have reportedly been killed in Israel in recent days, along with at least 400 in Gaza. Hamas militants assaulted nearly two dozen Israeli towns and army bases beginning Saturday and took hostages, including Israelis and possibly some Americans.
The Israeli military estimated 1,000 Hamas fighters took part in their initial attack on Saturday.
Israel has responded with airstrikes across the blockade Gaza territory. And as of last night, more than 123,000 people in Gaza were displaced due to fear about the destruction of their homes, according to the United Nations.
Meanwhile, in northern Israel, a brief exchange of strikes with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group fanned fears that the fighting could expand into a wider regional war.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is warning of a long war ahead and has spent part of the last few days speaking with European and Western leaders, many of whom have expressed support for Israel’s right to defend itself, according to Netanyahu.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh blamed Israel for the war, accusing it of “creating a climate of hatred, violence, incitement, and violating international law.”
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