Israel bombs Gaza nonstop after Hamas attack, cutting off escape routes for Palestinians; US starts sending munitions

Large parts of Gaza are now just piles of debris, with Israel doing exactly what it promised: unleashing its military might with nonstop bombardment after the shocking Hamas rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza positions on Saturday.

A part of Gaza destroyed by Israeli bombing. Screenshot courtesy: X/@aisha_c10

Moreover, the United States of America has begun sending munitions to its key ally Israel to support its counter-attack. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country was “at war”; US President Joe Biden said that the Hamas attack was an “act of sheer evil”.

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As of now, about 1,200 people on the Israel side are believed to be dead from the Hamas attack. On the Gaza side, as per reports until last night, Palestinian health officials said more than 900 people were killed on the Gaza side, with 4,250 wounded since Saturday. Homes, schools, and hospitals in Gaza have all come under Israeli airstrikes; the Israeli military had said earlier that Hamas operatives were hiding among civilians.

Also read: Hamas attack on Israel: Hamas is ‘more barbaric, more brutal’ than ISIS, says Israel military; vows to ‘respond with force’

Israel has blocked the supply of food, fuel, and electricity to Gaza, laying complete siege on the enemy territory, and the bombing has cut off escape routes for Palestinians. The Guardian quoted a Gaza-born aid worker named Nidal Hamdouna as saying that “that there is no safe place to go to in Gaza right now”.

US armaments arrive in Israel

The Israeli counter-attack has the full support of the US, as Biden made amply evident yesterday. “In this moment, we must be crystal clear: we stand with Israel,” he said in a televised speech, accompanied by Vice-President Kamala Harris and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He also called the Hamas attack — firing 3,000 or more rockets into Israel and invading Israeli communities without any warning — an “act of sheer evil”.

The US authorities said that Americans were among people taken hostage by Hamas, and that about 20 US citizens were missing since Saturday.

Also read: Hamas warns it will begin executing Israeli hostages in response to strikes

Earlier, the USS Gerald Ford, the most advanced fighter aircraft carrier of the US Navy, had set sail for the Eastern Mediterranean sea, in order to assist Israel. According to latest reports, the US has also sent munitions to help its ally. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) posted on X (formerly Twitter) yesterday: “The first plane carrying US armaments has since arrived at the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel this evening.”

Netanyahu and Biden had a phone call yesterday, after which the Israeli prime minister posted on X: “I told [the US president] that Hamas is worse than ISIS — and that they should be treated that way.”

In a series of X posts, the Israeli leader highlighted the “savagery” of Hamas. Netanyahu wrote in two consecutive posts: “We’ve had hundreds massacred, families wiped out in their beds in their homes, women brutally raped and murdered, over 100 kidnapped, including children. Since we last spoke, the extent of this evil, it’s only gotten worse. They took dozens of children, bound them up, burned them and executed them. They beheaded soldiers.”

No way out for Palestinians

To highlight their plight from the Israeli bombardment, Palestinians have started the hashtag #GazaUnderAttack on social media, and are posting videos of the ravaged neighbourhoods. However, there is not much sympathy for them right now, even though civilians are suffering in the latest conflict started by the militant group Hamas, which refers to Israelis as “occupiers”.

With Islamic Jihad of Palestine and Hezbollah of Lebanon also joining the Hamas attack on Israel, the world is seeing this as an act of terror, not a fight for freedom.

EU aid to Palestine will continue

Even though Israel has blocked all aid to Gaza, the European Commission has decided to continue giving financial support to the Palestinian Authority. The majority of foreign ministers of the European Union countries have voted for continued support and made the Commission reverse its earlier decision to suspend financial aid.

EU diplomat Joseph Borrell said, “Israel has the right to defend [itself] but it has to be done accordingly with international law, humanitarian law, and some decisions are contrary to international law.”