Over 232 Palestinians and 300 Israelis have tragically lost their lives, with more than 900 Israelis and at least 1,610 Palestinians sustaining injuries in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. Additionally, up to 50 Israelis were held hostage by militants, according to the Israeli Command. While some were freed on Saturday evening, an unknown number could still be in captivity. Ongoing fighting continues to plague several towns in the region.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, “We are at war. We will win,” reflecting the gravity of the situation. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) had previously declared a “state of alert for war,” with a high-ranking IDF commander, Col. Jonathan Steinberg, losing his life during a confrontation with Hamas.
The conflict escalated with Palestinian militants launching over 2,200 rockets toward Israel, according to the IDF, while Hamas claimed to have fired at least 5,000 rockets, most landing in southern and central Israel. Air raid sirens sounded in Jerusalem, further heightening tension.
The IDF urged civilians in southern and central Israel to seek shelter, emphasizing that the Hamas terrorist organization would face consequences for their attacks.
President Joe Biden expressed unwavering support for Israel in remarks from the White House, stating that Israel has the right to defend itself. He condemned Hamas’ assault and pledged support for the Israeli government and people.
The U.S. Embassy in Israel is closely monitoring the security situation, and U.S. citizens were reminded to remain vigilant due to the ongoing security incidents.
U.S. officials, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, emphasized the commitment to ensuring Israel has the necessary resources to defend itself and protect civilians. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken condemned the attacks by Hamas, including those against civilians and civilian communities.
In contrast, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas defended his people’s right to self-defense against what he referred to as the “terror of settlers and occupation troops.”
This conflict comes on a historically significant day, marking the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, also known as the Arab/Israeli War, which began in 1973. The situation remains volatile, with the international community closely watching the developments and hoping for a swift resolution to prevent further loss of life and suffering.
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