Hostilities raged around the Gaza Strip as the Israel Defense Forces continued Operation Swords of Iron. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed that the Promised Land is at war and vowed harsh retaliation against Hamas.
A day earlier, the militant group Hamas fired more than 5,000 rockets at Israel, calling for a fight to liberate Palestinian lands. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) was caught off guard as Palestinian fighters infiltrated Israel by land, sea, and even para-gliders.
The IDF launched an offensive operation that included strikes in the Gaza Strip.
It appears that Lebanon and the militant organization Hezbollah are being pulled into the conflict, as Netanyahu declared the conclusion of the initial phase of the IDF military operation and the removal of the majority of Hamas forces from Israeli territory.
More than 123,000 Palestinians have been forced to flee their homes in the Gaza Strip as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict escalates, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Sunday.
Attacks by the Hamas movement on Israeli towns and villages are a dangerous escalation, the United Arab Emirates Foreign Ministry said on Sunday. The Ministry is appalled by reports that Israeli civilians have been abducted as hostages from their homes.
The statement added that both Israeli and Palestinian civilians must always have full protection under international humanitarian law and must never be a target of conflict.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held on Sunday telephone conversations with the leaders of Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Ukraine, who voiced their support for Israel amid its armed conflict with Hamas, the Israeli prime minister’s office said.
A member of Hamas’ Political Bureau said that more than 100 Israeli citizens, including high-ranking military officials, were captured and moved to the Gaza Strip to be used as human shields for protection against aerial attacks.
An Israeli official, commenting on media reports about Egypt’s alleged mediation in negotiations with Hamas on the release of captive Israelis, said that Israel is not conducting any negotiations regarding the prisoners, an Israeli newspaper reported.
Earlier in the day, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem told Sputnik that negotiations over captured Israeli soldiers would take place after the end of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.
About 100 people held a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington to support Palestine against the background of the escalation of the conflict with Israel.
The rally took place in front of US President Joe Biden’s residence in Lafayette Square in the center of Washington, the correspondent reported, adding that about 100 people participated in the action.
The demonstrators waved flags of Palestine and held banners saying Free Palestine, Free all Palestinian political prisoners, End all USA aid to Israel, and End the occupation now.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.