In a shocking turn of events, the Israel-Gaza conflict has taken a devastating toll, with nearly 1,000 lives lost in just two days. The violence has not only rattled the region but has also prompted international concern and calls for peace.
As the conflict intensifies, the Indian embassy in Israel has issued a safety advisory to its citizens, urging them to remain vigilant and follow local authorities’ safety protocols.
The Israel government reported a staggering death toll of over 600 in Israel following a surprise attack by Hamas, with more than 100 individuals held as “prisoners” by the group. Officials emphasize that this number is not final and is likely to rise as the situation unfolds.
This recent escalation of violence is considered one of the bloodiest in decades, with Hamas launching a massive rocket barrage and a multi-pronged offensive that includes ground, air, and sea operations. Reports indicate that the Israeli casualties have reached 600, with 1,000 individuals wounded. Gaza officials report that intense Israeli airstrikes have resulted in at least 400 Palestinian deaths and nearly 1,700 injuries.
Adding to the complexity of the situation, Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah has launched attacks on Israeli positions in a disputed border area in solidarity with Hamas. The situation has sparked outrage and determination on both sides, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing to avenge what he referred to as a “black day” for Israel. He declared the Israeli Defense Forces’ intention to use all available force to destroy Hamas’s capabilities.
Netanyahu also issued a warning to Palestinians living near Hamas sites in Gaza, urging them to evacuate as Israel plans to target these locations. He stated, “I’m telling the people of Gaza: get out of there now, because we’re about to act everywhere with all our force.”
Amid the chaos, reports have emerged that approximately 100 soldiers and civilians have been kidnapped by Hamas. Army spokesman Richard Hecht described how terrorists had broken into homes, leading to civilian casualties and a battle still ongoing within Israel.
Hamas has fired thousands of rockets and breached Gaza’s security barrier, targeting nearby Israeli towns and military posts. The group has called for “resistance fighters in the West Bank” and others in “Arab and Islamic nations” to join their cause, with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh expressing confidence in a “great victory.”
Disturbing images have emerged, showing captured Israelis and scenes of violence in the Israeli town of Sderot near Gaza. In response, the Israel Defense Forces have declared their readiness for war and launched “Operation Swords of Iron,” targeting multiple locations in the Gaza Strip. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant emphasized the seriousness of the situation, stating, “We have seen the face of evil… We will change the face of reality in the Gaza Strip.”
As the crisis deepens, the UN Security Council has convened an emergency meeting. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has reaffirmed “rock solid and unwavering” support for Israel while cautioning against any parties hostile to Israel exploiting the situation.
In this volatile and rapidly evolving situation, the world watches with concern and hopes for a swift resolution to end the suffering and loss of life. The Indian embassy in Israel continues to advise its citizens to exercise caution, avoid unnecessary movement, and seek safety in designated shelters.