Ongoing Israeli strikes on Gaza result in more deaths

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Israeli strikes on Gaza have continued with attacks that killed more than 300 Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed mighty vengeance after Hamas fighters killed hundreds of Israelis and abducted an unknown number of captives into Gaza.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also held an emergency meeting with officials and emphasising the right of the Palestinian people to defend themselves against Israeli forces.

Meanwhile, the Israeli cabinet has declared a state of war.

The surprise Hamas attack represented the biggest infiltration into Israel.

Israel-Hamas conflict I Fighting rages as gunmen launch an attack: Dr Charles Sinkala

Hamas says the attack is driven by what it says were Israel’s escalated attacks on the Palestinians in the West Bank, Jerusalem and against Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

Netanyahu says, “What happened has never been seen in Israel and I will make sure that it does not happen again. The entire government is behind this decision. The Israeli Defence Force will immediately use all its strength to destroy Hamas. We will destroy them and we will take mighty vengeance for this black day that they have forced on the state of Israel and its citizens.”

Hamas military spokesperson, Abdel-Latif al-Qanoua says the attacks are in response to Israeli Prime Minister’s speech.

“We react to what the Prime Minister of the enemy Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in his speech by saying we want to assure first of all that threatening Gaza, the resistance and the resistance is a losing cause.”

South Africa has called for the cessation of hostilities.

Israel-Hamas Conflict| South African government joins the world to condemn the violence

World leaders have also reacted to the unfolding events in the Middle East.

US President, Joe Biden says, “The people of Israel are under attack, orchestrated by a terrorist organisation, Hamas. In this moment of tragedy, I want to say to them and to the world and to terrorists everywhere that the United States stands with Israel. We will not ever fail to have their back. We will make sure that they have the help their citizens need and that they can continue to defend themselves. you know, the world has seen appalling images, thousands of rockets in the space of hours raining down on Israeli cities.”

British Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly also commented on these attacks. The United Kingdom completely condemns these terrorist acts against Israel. We support Israel’s right to self-defence and of course, we will be working closely with the Israeli government and we are already in contact with them and we will continue to do so both to protect British nations in Israel and to try and bring peace as quickly as possible.”

Call for peace

Pope Francis has called for peace in this conflict. “Let the attacks and weapons cease, please because it must be understood that terrorism and war bring no solutions but only to the death and suffering of many innocent lives. War is a defeat, every war is a defeat. let us pray for peace in Israel and Palestine.”

Israeli army reserve soldiers have gathered in central Israel after the army announced it will call up as many reserve forces as needed to fight the ongoing Hamas attack that killed dozens and left hundreds wounded.

Hamas has also kidnapped some Israeli nationals.

On both sides, the death toll continues to rise.