Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his stunned nation in a televised address that the war against the militant group Hamas, which launched a surprise incursion into Israel, will “take time.”
More than 200 Israelis died in a surprise large-scale attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Saturday, the Israeli Army said, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to reduce the group’s Gaza hideouts to “rubble”.
Israeli media, citing rescue service officials, said at least 250 people were killed and 1,500 wounded, making Saturday’s surprise early morning attack by Hamas the deadliest attack in Israel in decades. At least 232 people in the Gaza Strip have been killed and at least 1,700 wounded in Israeli strikes, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
The attack comes at a time of mounting tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, with the peace process effectively dead for years. Over the past year, Israel’s far-right government has ramped up settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, Israeli settler violence has displaced hundreds of Palestinians there and tensions have flared around a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site.