Nov 7, 2023, 12:59 PM IST
Hamas terrorists carried out a surprise cross-border attack on Israel on October 7. Their highly organised assault overwhelmed Israeli security, breaching military defences and border walls. The attackers, surprised by the limited resistance, turned the operation into a chaotic and bloody rampage.
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Israel pounded the Palestinian enclave of Gaza in retaliation to the October 7 Hamas attack, killing hundreds of people in one of the bloodiest attacks in its history.
The ongoing conflict predates both Israel's establishment in 1948 and Hamas's formation in 1987. Palestinians and Israelis claim the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, leading to recurrent violence, displacement, and warfare.
Gaza is reeling under Israel's ongoing assault. The death toll, as announced by the Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip, has exceeded 10,000. A major portion of this toll also includes children.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a unity government with a political rival, has pledged to eliminate Hamas' control in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military aims to target the leadership of the militant group.
There are mounting humanitarian concerns for Gaza’s civilian population and questions about what would replace Hamas. The US has pledged to support Israel, sending military aid and deploying drones in Gaza to locate hostages. The US is also trying to ease regional tensions over the war and has warned other parties from getting involved.