The Israeli death toll from a surprise attack by the Palestinian group Hamas is estimated to top 1,000, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported Monday. The Israel newspaper said that over 150 Israelis are also believed to be held captive by Hamas. There has been no official confirmation so far by Israeli authorities of the new toll. According to the Israeli Health Ministry, at least 700 Israelis have been killed and 2,315 others wounded in the attack since Saturday. Hamas and the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad said they have taken more than 130 Israelis captive. Hamas sent dozens of fighters into Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip on Saturday amid heavy rocket fire. The group says the attack was in response to Israeli violations in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem and increased settler violence. Israel retaliated, with the Israeli army initiating Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas with a series of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, killing more than 430 Palestinians and wounding at least 2,300 others. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to use all of Israel’s strength to destroy Hamas’ capabilities and ‘take revenge for this black day.
Source: National News Agency – Lebanon