Hamas threatens to kill Israeli hostages for attack without prior warningtext_fields
Ramallah: As tensions in Gaza and Israel grow, Hamas is said to have prepared for a long battle with Israel, with a senior member of the organization quoted as saying that the militant group possesses a substantial arsenal of rockets. Hamas has reportedly issued a threat to kill Israeli hostages for every Palestinian home bombed by Israel without prior warning.
Meanwhile, Israel has activated approximately 300,000 reservists and enforced a complete blockade on the Gaza Strip, cutting off access to essential resources such as food, water, and fuel for the enclave's millions of residents.
The situation intensified as concerns mounted over the fate of over 100 individuals held hostage by militants in Gaza. Hamas issued a stark warning, threatening to execute the hostages if Israel carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip without prior notice.
The crisis unfolded during a surprise multi-front attack by Palestinian militants, resulting in a shocking death toll of over 700, making it the deadliest day in Israel's history.
In response, Israel has launched airstrikes from both air and sea, resulting in a reported death toll of over 680 Palestinians in Gaza. The area, home to 2.3 million people, is now under a "complete siege" by Israel, cutting off essential supplies such as water, food, and power. Israel formally declared war, mobilizing 300,000 reservists, signalling the possibility of a ground assault into Gaza.
Barakeh disclosed that only a select few top commanders in Gaza were aware of Saturday's incursion into Israel, and even close allies were not informed in advance. He denied reports of Iranian involvement in planning the attack but stated that allies like Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah would join the conflict if Gaza faced a war of annihilation.
The international community, represented by leaders including Joe Biden, Rishi Sunak, Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz, and Giorgia Meloni, issued a joint statement expressing steadfast support for the state of Israel and unequivocal condemnation of Hamas and its acts of terrorism.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to "eliminate terrorists" present in Israel and thanked the U.S. for its unwavering support.
Qatar announced mediation talks between Hamas and Israeli officials, including discussions on a possible prisoner swap. However, neither party confirmed engagement in negotiations during hostilities. The World Health Organization reported 11 attacks on healthcare sites in the first 36 hours of the conflict, emphasizing the urgent need for a humanitarian corridor to facilitate patient referrals and the movement of essential supplies.
The U.S. confirmed the dispatch of military aid to Israel, acknowledging the likelihood of additional requests as the conflict unfolds. Despite concerns about concurrent support for Ukraine, a Defense Department official assured that the U.S. would continue to supply both Israel and Ukraine while maintaining global readiness.
Furthermore, the U.S. closely monitors Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed groups, positioning its ships in the region to deter any expansion of the conflict against Israel. A senior Defense Department official cautioned that if Hezbollah were to enter the war, Israel might find itself fighting on two fronts.