It’s war in Israel. Clashes with Hamas: over a thousand deaths. Regained control of the areas close to Gaza

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By John

Israel has regained control of all towns on the Gaza border. The army spokesman said this Daniel Hagari, adding that the clashes between soldiers and Hamas militiamen in the last few hours were “isolated”. Hagari then explained that 3 militiamen were killed in the Shaar Hanegev area, one in the village of Beeri, 5 in those of Holit and Sufa and 4 in Alumim for a total of 13. “At the moment – he underlined – there are no fighting is ongoing but it is possible there are terrorists in the area.” Furthermore, the breaches in the defensive barrier will be secured with tanks. We are in a very extensive process of recruiting reservists – he continued – In 48 hours we reached 300,000 reservists.”

With the macabre count that reached 800 victims this morning, Israel mourns its fallen, of all ages, genders and occupations: soldiers, policemen, rescue workers and many civilians, who died under rockets or in combat with Hamas militiamen. Names, stories and photos emerge that go far beyond the cold budget numbers. The story of Hannah Ben-Artzi, the 69-year-old from Kfar Aviv who was torn apart by a rocket while she was trying to open a public shelter for neighbors who didn’t know where to take shelter, made a particular impression on the media of the Jewish state.

The rockets also killed ten Israeli Arab Bedouins, including six children, the youngest of whom, Yazan Zakaria Abu-Jama, was only 5 years old and lived in the village of Arara. According to a partial list published and constantly updated by Haaretz, particularly numerous civilians were killed in Netiv HaAsara, including Ofir Libstein, who was the respected president of the Sháar Hanegev Regional Council. The list of soldiers deployed to counter the infiltration of militiamen along the border with Gaza and who died under fire from Hamas is also long: yesterday Colonel Yonatan Steinberg, 42 years old, commander of the brigade, fell “in a firefight with a terrorist”. Army nahal.

Army made up largely of conscripts, all around the age of twenty, judging from the list published by the newspaper. Among the soldiers killed was also a British citizen, Nathanel Young, also 20 years old, who for his family “was full of life, loved his friends and us and was loved by everyone”, according to what the BBC writes.

The price of blood also paid by the police was high, among whose ranks several high-ranking officers were killed: this is the case of the chief superintendent, commander of the Rahat station, Ge-ar Davidov; or Chief Superintendent Itzhak Bazuka-Shvili, who headed the Segev Shalom station. Photos of two other victims then appear on social media, Sergeant Vitaly Karisik, 38 years old, from Ashkelon, and his colleague Sergeant Alon Barad, 38 years old, from Beersheba, both killed in combat in Reim.

And among the Israelis killed in Reim, the photo of the body of Lieutenant Colonel Sahar Makhlouf of the 481st reconnaissance battalion is also circulating on Several agents of the Shin Bet, the Israeli internal intelligence service, also fell, killed in fighting around Gaza: Yosef Tohar, 39 years old, from Bitzaron, who had four children; Maor Shalom, 46 years old, from Arugot, father of three children and Amit Vaks, 48 ​​years old, from Netiv Hàasara, also three children.

Two young officers – Ilai Nachman, 23, and Ido Edri, 24 – died in the massacre at the Sukkot celebration in Reim. And then there are the foreigners caught in the conflict: the two Thais killed and Rodolfo Fabián Skariszewski, 56, from Córdoba, Argentina, who died in the village of Moshav Ohad, hit while walking his dog. Or compatriot Abi Kori, who lived on the Korin kibbutz.

Rockets from Lebanon

Twelve rockets were fired from southern Lebanon towards Israel. The pan-Arab-Saudi TV al Arabiya reports this with an urgent overlay and citing its correspondent in southern Lebanon.

The massacre in the fruit and vegetable market

Israeli planes bombed the fruit and vegetable market of Jabalia, in the north of the Strip, which was very crowded at the time. This was reported by witnesses according to whom there are dozens of corpses on the spot. The Gaza hospital later reported that over 50 people had died. Local residents – according to the same sources – provided aid to the injured.

260 Israeli corpses in the rave party area

In the area of ​​the rave party of Kibbutz Reim (near the border with Gaza) 260 bodies were found “and the searches have not yet concluded”. This was announced by a spokesperson for the Zaka rabbinical organization responsible for the recovery of corpses in areas that have been the scene of attacks or other violence. The massacre, according to witnesses, was carried out yesterday morning by the military wing of Hamas during the blitz launched on Israeli territory. According to public television Kan, Israeli intelligence believes that Hamas was aware of the party and that it intentionally directed some of its militiamen there.

Dramatic escalation in the Middle East

Hamas declared war and put Israel in check. Taken by surprise, the Jewish state finds itself dealing with hundreds of deaths and unprecedented hostage-taking. At the first light of dawn, on the day that closes the Jewish holidays of Sukkot – as happened 50 years ago during Yom Kippur – 5,000 rockets rained down from Gaza, causing destruction and death. For hours, warning sirens rang out in the center and south of the country, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, where people ran into shelters. The rocket launch was only the beginning of the conflict: from dozens of points along the border, armed Hamas militiamen (between 200 and 300) entered Jewish territory and the kibbutzim close to the Strip from heaven, earth and sea, taking civilians and soldiers hostage and killing others, while people ran to barricade themselves in shelters. Videos released on social media by sites close to Hamas show terrible scenes of the capture of hostages: according to the media there would be at least 50, but the number was not confirmed either by the military spokesperson or by the political authorities.

Clashes between Israeli soldiers and Hamas militiamen occurred in the border kibbutzim, from Ofakim and Beeri to Nirim and others: in the evening the army announced that fighting was still ongoing in 22 locations. Images spread on social media also showed the battle in the streets of Sderot, where Hamas allegedly took control of a police station. There was also tension in the West Bank, while in Gaza, as darkness fell, electricity was cut.

Netanyahu: “We are at war”

“Citizens of Israel, we are at war. It’s not just an operation, it’s a war”, announced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, adding that he had given orders to the army to recall the reservists and to “respond to the war with an impetuosity and scale that the enemy has never known before. They will pay a price that they have never had to pay, and in the end we will win.” The Israeli air force – according to the media after some uncertainty – began to pound the Strip with attacks that caused at least 232 deaths and almost 1,600 injuries, hitting Hamas and Jihad positions. According to the military spokesman, Hamas military infrastructure which was housed in two skyscrapers in central Gaza was also attacked. Doctors Without Borders spoke about two affected hospitals, the Indonesian Hospital and the Nasser Hospital. From the Strip, the elusive head of the military wing of Hamas, Mohammad Deif, defined the ‘Flood al-Aqsa’ operation as a response to the “desecration of holy places” and “detentions”. “We have warned the Zionist enemy several times – said Deif – but we have always received refusals”.

Hamas: “Battle for freedom”

While the deputy head of Hamas, Saleh al-Arouri, claimed that his organization is engaged in a battle “for freedom”. “This – he specified – is not a hit and run operation, we have started an all-out battle. We expect the fighting to continue and the combat front to expand. We have a primary objective: our freedom and the freedom of our holy places”. There are now many who fear that the situation will worsen in the north too, with a possible intervention by the Lebanese Hezbollah: some militiamen, according to the Israeli media, tried to breach the border line but were repelled with gunfire fired by Israeli soldiers. The news, however, was denied by the Shiite militiamen. In Israel, people are holding their breath and wondering how it was possible to be caught so off guard by Hamas, fearing Iranian direction behind the attack.

Two Israeli tourists killed in Egypt

An attack was carried out against a group of Israeli tourists in Alexandria, Egypt. This was reported by Arab media, cited by Haaretz, underlining that two Israeli tourists died. A police officer shot at the group of Israeli tourists in Alexandria, Egypt in the area of ​​the Aumd al-Sawari sanctuary in the El Manshiyya area. The Egyptian broadcaster Extra News reported this, citing a security source and underlining that in addition to two Israeli tourists, an Egyptian was also killed while another was injured. The policeman was immediately arrested and the injured man was transferred to hospital for treatment.

The Pope’s appeal for peace

“I am following with apprehension and pain what is happening in Israel, where violence has exploded even more ferociously, causing hundreds of deaths and injuries,” Pope Francis said at the Angelus. “Please stop the weapons attacks,” he added, “and let us understand that terrorism and war do not lead to any solution, but only to the death of many innocent people.” «War is a conflict, it is always a defeat – underlined the Pontiff -. Let us pray for peace in Israel and Palestine.”

Israel’s security cabinet votes for state of war

The Israeli government’s security cabinet has voted to place the country in a state of war and that “significant military activities” can be undertaken. This was announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. The passage of the Security Cabinet is necessary under Israeli laws according to which one cannot go to war without a government decision.