The conflict between Israel and Hamas has escalated to unprecedented levels. Both sides have suffered significant losses, and the situation has taken a chilling new turn with reports of hostages being taken by Hamas terrorists.
Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israel, catching the country off-guard during a major Jewish holiday. The attack involved thousands of rockets and dozens of fighters infiltrating Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel is now at “war” with Hamas, vowing to inflict an unprecedented price.
“The enemy will pay a price like they have never known before,” said Netanyahu.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
“Citizens of Israel,
We are at war, not in an operation or in rounds, but at war. This morning, Hamas launched a murderous surprise attack against the State of Israel and its citizens. We have been in this since the early morning hours. pic.twitter.com/C7YQUviItR
— Prime Minister of Israel (@IsraeliPM) October 7, 2023
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recently conducted airstrikes targeting two high-rise towers in the Gaza Strip. These towers were being used by Hamas, a designated terrorist organization, to house their military assets.
The IDF has stated that the strikes were carried out in response to Hamas’ deliberate practice of locating their military assets within civilian areas.
The IDF claims to have provided advance warning to the occupants of the buildings and urged them to evacuate before the strikes took place. This demonstrates Israel’s commitment to minimizing civilian casualties and adhering to the principles of proportionality in armed conflict.
#Palestine || Israeli warplanes destroy the residential tower of “Palestine” in Gaza City. 7.10.23
طائرات الاحتلال تدمر برج فلسطين في مدينة غزة pic.twitter.com/GqK1pBoNSS
— Eye on Palestine (@EyeonPalestine) October 7, 2023
Adding a new dimension to the conflict, Hamas militants have reportedly started taking hostages off the streets of Israel.
“There are dozens of hostages inside Gaza. We don’t know exactly how many, but I would encourage you not to share the videos that are circulating online and on Telegram right now,” said Trey Yingst, Fox News correspondent in Israel.
Hamas claims they’ve taken dozens of Israelis hostage. Gun battles continue in the distance. pic.twitter.com/nDXw3JZgZi
— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) October 7, 2023
Horrifying footage has emerged showing women being marched into vehicles, bloodied and bruised. Earlier reports showed Israeli civilian pensioners being captured and taken into the Gaza Strip on golf carts, Daily Mail reported.
“There are reports that [the Palestinians] have taken an Israeli General hostage, entire families have been taken, point blank killings… wars have been started where one Israeli hostage was taken and now it seems like there could be about 60. So it couldn’t be worse. Every Israeli I have spoken to, their voices have been quivering,” Thomas Helm, Jerusalem Correspondent at The National told Daily Mail.
WATCH: (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT)
An Israeli woman is abducted by Hamas and taken hostage. This is unprecedented. You don’t see this happening anywhere else. pic.twitter.com/T7yijAzE5E
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) October 7, 2023
— Hareem Shah (@_Hareem_Shah) October 7, 2023
The Israeli army has acknowledged that both soldiers and civilians have been kidnapped by Hamas.
The Hamas militant group says it is holding “dozens” of Israeli soldiers captive in the Gaza Strip.
Abu Obeida, spokesman for the group’s military wing, said the soldiers, including some officers, were captured during a surprise infiltration into southern Israel on Saturday.
He said the captives were being held in “safe places” and militant tunnels.
If true, the claim could set the stage for complicated negotiations on a prisoner swap with Israel, which is holding thousands of Palestinians in its prisons.
Israel in the past has agreed to lopsided exchanges in order to bring captive soldiers home.
BREAKING: The Israeli military says that Hamas is holding Israeli civilians and soldiers hostage in Gaza, marking a major escalation in the fighting. https://t.co/zIGeRWQKDY
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 7, 2023
We will update this article as soon as additional details become available.