Hamas militants had launched a broad assault on Saturday, infiltrating as many as 22 locations outside the Gaza Strip, including towns and communities up to 15 miles from the Gaza border.Simultaneously, Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israeli cities, resulting in casualties and taking hostages.
Here are all the latest developments from Day 2 of the conflict:
Israeli forces clash with Hamas gunmen
Israel was still countering Hamas incursions in eight locations, according to the Israeli military. The situation remained tense.
The conflict has been spreading, with fire from Lebanon into northern Israel, which the armed group Hezbollah said it carried out “in solidarity” with the Palestinian people.
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Hezbollah and Israel exchange fire
Situation escalated as Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, became involved. This raised concerns of a broader regional conflict. Hezbollah conducted strikes on Israeli positions in a disputed area near Syria’s Golan Heights, leading to a military response from Israel in the form of armed drone strikes on Hezbollah targets in the same disputed area where the borders of Israel, Lebanon, and Syria converge.
This escalation on Israel’s northern border raised the possibility of involving a formidable adversary of Israel, Hezbollah, which is supported by Iran and is believed to possess tens of thousands of rockets.
Israel declares ‘state of war’ after rockets fired from Gaza; Israel initiates ‘Operation Iron Swords’ in Gaza
About 500 Israelis and Palestinians dead
Israel conducted strikes on 426 targets in Gaza, including residential buildings, resulting in significant destruction. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported at least 256 people killed in Gaza, including 20 children, and nearly 1,800 wounded.
In response to the attack, Israel saw its deadliest day in decades, with at least 300 people killed and 1,500 wounded, according to Israeli media.
“Hamas will pay the price…,” Israeli envoy assures ‘severe retaliation’ in the wake of devastating Hamas attacks
Israel PM Netanyahu vows to turn Hamas hideouts into rubble
As the death toll from the Hamas rocket attacks and ground assault surpassed 300, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a resolute pledge to obliterate all known hiding places of the militant organization, vowing to reduce them to rubble.
Netanyahu issued a warning to all residents of Gaza, urging them to evacuate immediately. He declared that Israel would employ its full military might to eliminate Hamas’s capabilities.
Netanyahu wrote on Twitter, “The IDF will immediately use all its strength to destroy Hamas’s capabilities. We will destroy them and will exact forceful retribution for this dark day they have imposed upon the State of Israel and its citizens. As Bialik wrote: ‘Revenge for the blood of a little child has yet been devised by Satan’.”
“Regarding all the locations where Hamas is stationed, concealed, and operating, that malevolent city, we will reduce them to rubble. To the residents of Gaza, I say: Depart now, because we will take decisive action everywhere,” he added.
Watch: Israel’s Security Cabinet makes big decision on Hamas and Gaza, here is what PM Netanyahu said…