Israel, reeling from the deadliest attack on its territory, declared war on Hamas Sunday as the conflict’s death toll surged above 1,100 after the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise assault from Gaza, AFP reported.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu steeled the nation for a “long and difficult” war a day after Hamas fired a barrage of thousands of rockets at Israel and sent a wave of fighters who gunned down civilians and took at least 100 hostages.
More than 700 Israelis have been killed since Hamas launched its large-scale attack, according to the latest toll from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Monday – the country’s worst losses since the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
They also said 2,150 Israelis had been wounded in the attack, which was launched on Saturday morning. The IDF posted the figures on its official account on X, formerly Twitter.
Gaza officials reported at least 413 deaths in the impoverished and blockaded enclave of 2.3 million people, which was hammered by Israeli air strikes on 800 targets ahead of what many feared may be a looming ground invasion.
Several other countries have reported nationals killed, abducted or missing in the fighting, among them Brazil, Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Nepal, Thailand and Ukraine.
Tens of thousands of Israeli forces were deployed to battle holdout Hamas fighters in the south, where the bodies of civilians had been found strewn on roads and in town centres.