A wave of Israeli airstrikes has struck the Gaza Strip, resulting in the tragic loss of at least 232 Palestinian lives and leaving over 1,600 individuals wounded, as reported by the territory’s Health Ministry on Saturday. The ministry also revealed that medical teams are working tirelessly to save numerous serious and critical cases in operating rooms and intensive care units.
The series of airstrikes, which commenced under the banner of “Operation Swords of Iron,” was initiated in response to a Hamas offensive known as “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood,” which earlier saw Hamas forces launching attacks into Israel. The Israeli army stated, “We are initiating a large-scale operation to defend Israeli civilians against the combined attack launched against Israel by Hamas this morning.”
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh characterized the attack as a “heroic epic” in response to what he termed “Israel’s aggression against Al Aqsa” Mosque and settler violence. The recent Jewish holiday of Sukkot witnessed hundreds of Israeli settlers forcibly entering the highly contentious Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.
In a retaliatory move, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, the Al-Qassam Brigades, launched rockets targeting enemy sites, airports, and military installations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the country is now in a state of war. He stated, “Our army’s priority is to clear out the hostile forces.”