Israel orders 'complete siege' of Gaza
A day after Hamas launched a deadly multipronged assault on Israel, the Israeli cabinet on Sunday officially declared a state of war. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed retaliation for the attacks and warned of “a long and difficult war” ahead.
On Monday, Israel ordered a “complete siege” of Gaza, with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant saying, “There is no electricity, there is no food, there is no water, there is no fuel.”
Israeli tanks and drones are guarding openings in the Gaza border fence to prevent further incursions, and the Israeli Defense Force says it has regained control of the border towns but cautioned that Hamas militants may still be in the region. Fifteen of 24 border communities have been evacuated, and Israel expects the remainder to be cleared today.
Some 100,000 reserve troops have been amassed near the border, and Israeli forces are expected to enter Gaza within 24 to 48 hours. Defenses are also being ramped up in the north along the border with Lebanon.
So far, more than 700 Israelis have been killed, and more than 2,200 have been wounded. A state of emergency has been called, and some 300,000 military reservists have been called up amid a mass mobilization.
There are reports that more than 100 Israelis – including women, children, soldiers, and elderly people – have been kidnapped. Many have reportedly been taken to Gaza.In Gaza, the Palestinian Health Ministry reports that more than 400 Palestinians have died and 2,200 have been wounded. The toll includes 20 dead and 121 wounded children.