On Monday, Israel escalated its airstrikes on the Gaza Strip for the third consecutive day, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of individuals. This escalation was in response to attacks carried out by the militant group Hamas.
In a statement, the Israeli military claimed its air strikes and artillery shelling struck more than 500 targets belonging to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant groups in the Gaza Strip overnight.
“Overnight IDF (Israeli army) fighter jets, helicopters, aircraft and artillery struck over 500 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip,” the military said in a statement.
Al Arabiya and Al Hadath sources reported that military planes bombed two mosques in Gaza in the early hours of Monday morning.
More than 450 people, including children and women, have died and 2,400 others were injured in the Israeli attacks, the Palestinian Red Crescent told Al Arabiya.
Israeli launched continuous raids on Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, while artillery shells targeted the Bureij Camp, and the neighborhoods of Zeitoun and Shuja’iyya, according to Al Arabiya.
At least 18 people have died in an Israeli bombing on homes in the Gazan city of Rafah, Al Arabiya cited Palestinian media as saying on Monday.
Israeli forces also contiued to storm several neighborhoods in the West Bank.
The United Nations said the number of displaced Gazans has risen to more than 123,000 as a result of the fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas since the attack on Saturday.
As of late Sunday, retaliatory Israeli airstrikes had destroyed 159 housing units across Gaza and severely damaged 1,210 others, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees said a school sheltering more than 225 people was also hit.
Several Israeli news outlets, citing rescue service officials, said at least 700 people have been killed in Israel, including 44 soldiers.
About 2,000 people have been wounded on each side. An Israeli official said security forces have killed 400 militants and captured dozens more.
Hamas fighters had launched attacks against Israeli fighters across southern Israel on Saturday, in what was one of the deadliest incursion carried out against the Israeli occupation.
Isreali Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed “mighty vengeance” on the Gaza Strip in response and formally declared war on Sunday, giving the green light for “significant military steps” to retaliate against Hamas for the surprise attack a day earlier.
“The price the Gaza Strip will pay will be a very heavy one that will change reality for generations,” said Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in the town of Ofakim, which suffered casualties and had hostages taken.