Armenpress: Israel retaliates after Hamas attacks, deaths pass 1100

 10:24, 9 October 2023

YEREVAN, OCTOBER 9, ARMENPRESS. The Israeli military on Monday said it struck hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip overnight and had sent four combat divisions south where it continued to battle Islamist militants two days after a bloody incursion, Reuters reports.

A military spokesperson said fighting was ongoing at seven or eight locations near Gaza two days after gunmen from Islamist group Hamas killed 700 Israelis and abducted dozens more in the deadliest raid into Israeli territory since Egypt and Syria's attacks in the Yom Kippur war 50 years ago.

Hamas fighters also continued to cross into Israel from Gaza, the spokesman said.

Fighter jets, helicopters and artillery struck over 500 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip overnight, with targets including Hamas and Islamic Jihad command centres and the residence of senior Hamas official Ruhi Mashtaa who allegedly helped direct the infiltration into Israel.

Medics in Gaza said at least seven Palestinians were killed in two Israeli air strikes on two houses. Israeli planes carried out dozens of air strikes, many in the northern town of Beit Hanoun.

Israeli air strikes on Sunday hit housing blocks, tunnels, a mosque and homes of Hamas officials in Gaza. The Palestinian health ministry said more than 400 people including scores of children had been killed.

Israeli military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said the country had called in around 100,000 soldiers.

Oil prices were up more than $3 a barrel in Asian trade on Monday as the violence deepened political uncertainty across the Middle East and raised concerns about supplies from Iran.

Iran is an ally of Hamas and while it congratulated Hamas on the attack, its mission to the United Nations said Tehran was not involved in the attacks.

Several international air carriers have suspended flight services with Tel Aviv in light of the Hamas attack, saying they are waiting for conditions to improve before resuming.

Beyond blockaded Gaza, Israeli forces and Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah militia exchanged artillery and rocket fire on Sunday, while in Egypt, two Israeli tourists were shot dead along with a guide.

The Palestinian foreign ministry denounced what it called a "barbarous campaign of death and destruction" by Israel.

Several Americans were killed by Hamas attackers, a White House National Security Council spokesperson confirmed. Thailand said 12 of its nationals had been killed and 11 kidnapped.

Palestinian fighters took dozens of hostages to Gaza, including soldiers and civilians, children and the elderly. A second Palestinian militant group, Islamic Jihad, said it was holding more than 30 of the captives.

Appeals for restraint came from around the world, though Western nations largely stood by Israel.

On October 7, the Armenian foreign ministry called for an end to the violence. “We are shocked by the violence between the Palestinians and Israel and targeting of civilian population. We express condolences to relatives of victims and speedy recovery to those wounded. We join international calls to stop the violence,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on X.