Israel intensifies strikes and vows to besiege Gaza as it scours south for Hamas fighters

by | Oct 9, 2023 | Religion

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s military scoured the country’s south for Hamas fighters, guarded breaches in its border fence and pounded the Gaza Strip from the air on Monday as it vowed to lay total siege to the impoverished, Hamas-ruled territory in the wake of an unprecedented weekend incursion.More than two days after Hamas launched its surprise attack from Gaza, the military said the fighting had largely died down for now. Israel’s vaunted military and intelligence apparatus was caught completely off guard, bringing heavy battles to its streets for the first time in decades.
Israel formally declared war on Sunday, portending greater fighting ahead, and a possible ground assault into Gaza — a move that in the past has brought intensified casualties. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to destroy “the military and governing capabilities” of the militant group, which is deeply rooted in Gaza.
As Israel hit more than 1,000 targets in Gaza and its tanks and drones guarded openings in the border fence to prevent more infiltrations, Palestinian militants continued firing barrages of rockets, setting off air raid sirens in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Video posted online appeared to show a plume of smoke near a terminal at Ben Gurion International Airport. There was no immediate word on casualties or damage from the latest bombardment.
But civilians have already paid a high price. Around 700 people have been killed in Israel — a staggering toll by the scale of its recent conflicts. Nea …

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