The Islamist militant Hamas movement threatened to execute an Israeli captive every time Israel bombs a Palestinian home without warning, as Israel called up an unprecedented 300,000 reservists and imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip in a sign it may be planning a ground assault.
The violence, which has claimed more than 1,500 lives as of Oct. 10, prompted international declarations of support for Israel after a devastating attack by Hamas on Oct. 7, and appeals for an end to the fighting and protection of civilians.
Israeli TV channels said the death toll from the surprise Hamas attack had climbed to 900 Israelis, with at least 2,600 injured, and dozens taken captive. Among the Israeli dead were 260 mostly young people gunned down at a desert music festival, where some of the hostages were abducted.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed revenge in a fiery speech accusing Iran-backed Hamas of executing tied-up children and other atrocities. “This vile enemy wanted war and it will get war,” he said.
Gaza’s Health Ministry said at least 687 Palestinians had been killed and 3,726 wounded in Israeli airstrikes on the blockaded enclave since Oct. 7. Apartment blocks, a mosque and hospitals were among the sites attacked. (Reuters)