Israeli Aircraft Intensify Attacks on Gaza in Retaliation Against Hamas

by Chloe Baker
Israeli airstrikes in Gaza

Israeli Aircraft Intensify Attacks on Gaza in Retaliation Against Hamas

On Tuesday, Israeli fighter jets escalated their aerial campaign against various neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip, leaving multiple structures in ruins and causing residents to hastily seek refuge. This increased military activity serves as Israel’s severe countermeasure to a lethal assault perpetrated by Hamas militants over the weekend.

Humanitarian organizations are urgently calling for the establishment of secure routes to facilitate the delivery of aid to Gaza. These groups caution that hospitals, already inundated with casualties, are nearing a critical shortage of essential resources. Israel has imposed restrictions on the entry of food, fuel, and medical supplies into Gaza, while the only remaining route from Egypt was closed on Tuesday following nearby airstrikes.

With the conflict toll exceeding 1,900 lives on both sides, escalations appear inevitable. The weekend attack, which Hamas declared as retribution for deteriorating conditions faced by Palestinians under Israeli rule, has only heightened Israel’s resolve to weaken Hamas’ influence in Gaza. Concurrent skirmishes along Israel’s northern borders with Lebanon and Syria indicate a growing risk of the conflict broadening regionally.

On Saturday, Hamas militants launched an assault into Israel, leading to unprecedented urban warfare and causing hundreds of civilian casualties near the Gaza border. According to Israeli reports, approximately 150 soldiers and civilians are currently held captive by Hamas and other militant factions in Gaza.

On Tuesday, Israel amplified its military efforts, increasing the number of mobilized reservists to 360,000. The Israeli military announced it had effectively reclaimed control over the southern areas that had been targeted by Hamas, as well as regions bordering Gaza.

Speculation is mounting as to whether Israel will initiate a ground invasion of Gaza—a territory spanning 40 kilometers (25 miles) and home to 2.3 million people, governed by Hamas since 2007.

Additional Coverage

  • Israel Intensifies Airstrikes on Gaza in Response to Hamas Attacks
  • Key Facts on the Fourth Day of the Latest Israel-Palestinian Conflict
  • Palestinians in Bombarded Gaza Scramble for Safety Amid Ongoing Crisis

Emergency services in Gaza reported that a significant number of individuals remain trapped under collapsed structures, impeding rescue operations due to inaccessibility.

Late Monday night, airstrikes left a large section of Gaza City’s Rimal neighborhood in ruins. Residents discovered structures either partially destroyed or reduced to debris. The devastation extended to vehicles and urban vegetation, turning residential areas into uninhabitable landscapes.

Abdullah Musleh, one of 30 people pulled from the wreckage of a collapsed apartment building by Palestinian Civil Defense forces, lamented, “I sell toys, not missiles. Why must I remain here? I have lost my home and my livelihood.”

Israeli military officials stated that they had targeted numerous sites in Rimal, an affluent district housing Hamas-controlled governmental institutions, universities, and media offices.

As part of a novel strategy, Israel is advising civilians to evacuate, neighborhood by neighborhood, before causing widespread damage—potentially a precursor to a ground invasion. Fresh rounds of explosions continued to rock various regions, including the nearby al-Daraj neighborhood.

In total, dozens of fighter jets struck over 70 specified targets in the vicinity, according to the Israeli military, alleging that these areas have been used by Hamas to orchestrate attacks against Israel.

A devastating explosion struck Gaza City’s port, setting multiple fishing boats ablaze. Hasan Jabar, a journalist based in Gaza, stated, “There is no sanctuary in Gaza at the moment. Everyday people are losing their lives.”

Subsequent to Tuesday’s rocket attacks on Ashkelon and Tel Aviv by Hamas, the Israeli military reported a gunfight in an Ashkelon industrial zone, resulting in the death of three militants.

Israel’s strategy for the current conflict seems to aim at decisively neutralizing Hamas, contrasting with the inconclusive outcomes of prior skirmishes between 2008 and 2021. The Israeli public is increasingly pressing the government to overthrow Hamas, a task previously deemed unattainable due to the potential need for reoccupation of the Gaza Strip.

Further complicating the situation are questions regarding Hamas’ long-term objectives and strategies, particularly given the increasing desperation among Palestinians under continuous Israeli governance and mounting settlements in the West Bank.

Despite incidents of rocket fire from Lebanon and Syria into northern Israel, the situation has yet to escalate into a full-blown regional conflict.

In response to the Israeli bombardment, Hamas has warned that it would execute an Israeli civilian captive for each unannounced attack on civilian residences in Gaza.

The ferocity of the militant assault has left Israel shocked, with casualty numbers not seen since the 1973 war against Egypt and Syria. It has led to gruesome scenes of Hamas militants executing civilians in their homes and on streets, while also taking hostages.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced that at least 14 American citizens were among those killed in the Hamas attack, urging international actors not to exploit the volatile situation.

Hamas criticized Biden’s remarks, calling for a reevaluation of what it perceives as a biased U.S. stance. It urged the U.S. administration to abandon its “double standard” policy regarding Palestinian self-defense against Israeli occupation.

According to Israeli military reports, approximately 1,000 individuals have died in Israel, including 155 soldiers. Palestinian authorities report 900 deaths in Gaza, inclusive of 260 children and 230 women. Thousands have been injured on both sides.

The United Nations reports that over 200,000 people in Gaza have been displaced, the highest number since a 2014 Israeli offensive resulted in nearly 400,000 people fleeing their homes. Essential services for 400,000 individuals have been disrupted, according to the U.N.

The World Health Organization announced that pre-positioned supplies for seven Gaza hospitals have been exhausted, and Doctors Without Borders warned that surgical equipment and other vital resources are rapidly depleting in its Gaza-based facilities.

Reported by Adwan from the Gaza Strip. Contributions from Isabel DeBre, Amy Teibel, Julia Frankel in Jerusalem; Wafaa Shurafa in Gaza City; Tia Goldenberg in Tel Aviv, Israel; Bassem Mroue and Kareem Chehayeb in Beirut; Samy Magdy in Cairo; and Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Israeli airstrikes in Gaza

What prompted the escalation in the Israel-Gaza conflict?

The escalation was prompted by a deadly weekend attack by Hamas militants. Israel responded with intensified airstrikes targeting neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip, leading to a humanitarian crisis.

How has the conflict affected the civilian population in Gaza?

The civilian population in Gaza has been severely impacted, with buildings reduced to rubble, hospitals overwhelmed, and supplies running out. Over 200,000 people have fled their homes, and many are taking shelter in schools run by the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees.

What is the status of humanitarian aid to Gaza?

Humanitarian aid to Gaza is in a critical state. Israel has stopped the entry of food, fuel, and medicines, and the sole remaining access from Egypt has been closed. Humanitarian groups have called for the creation of corridors to deliver aid.

How have other countries responded to the situation?

U.S. President Joe Biden stated that “there is no justification for terrorism” and appeared to issue a warning to Hezbollah. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to travel to Israel to deliver a message of solidarity and support.

What is the risk of the conflict expanding regionally?

The risk of regional conflict is increasing. New exchanges of fire have occurred over Israel’s northern borders with militants in Lebanon and Syria, and Palestinian militants have fired rockets into northern Israel from Lebanon and Syria.

What are the political implications for Israel?

The Israeli government is under intense public pressure to decisively end the conflict. Four previous rounds of fighting between 2008 and 2021 have ended inconclusively, but this time there is a strong push for a “clear victory.”

What are the objectives of Hamas in this conflict?

Hamas officials have said they planned for all possibilities, including a severe Israeli escalation. Their attack may aim to incite uprisings in the West Bank and possibly involve Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the conflict.

How has the conflict impacted the medical infrastructure in Gaza?

Medical facilities are overwhelmed with wounded people and are running out of supplies like surgical equipment and antibiotics. The U.N.’s World Health Organization stated that pre-positioned supplies for seven hospitals have already run out.

What is the situation for journalists in Gaza?

Gaza journalist Hasan Jabar stated that “there is no safe place in Gaza right now,” following the deaths of three Palestinian journalists in an Israeli bombardment.

What is the status of hostages on both sides?

Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza hold about 150 Israeli soldiers and civilians hostage, according to Israel. Meanwhile, Americans are among those being held hostage in Gaza, as stated by U.S. President Joe Biden.

More about Israeli airstrikes in Gaza

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John O'Neil October 11, 2023 - 8:27 am

A ground assault into Gaza would be catastrophic. 2.3 million ppl in such a small area, imagine the casualties…

Emily Davis October 11, 2023 - 3:48 pm

The numbers are staggering. Over a thousand dead on both sides and it’s still escalating? this needs to stop now.

Ahmed Farooq October 11, 2023 - 4:47 pm

Hamas threatening to kill Israeli civilian captives… as if the situation wasn’t volatile enough.

Mike Thompson October 11, 2023 - 5:51 pm

Wow this situation is getting outta hand. Seems like both sides r amping up and no one wants to back down. seriously what’s the end game here?

Sara Williams October 11, 2023 - 8:53 pm

Hospitals running out of supplies? Where’s the international community. It’s like the world has just turned a blind eye to this mess.

Alex Goldman October 12, 2023 - 2:29 am

Biden’s statement doesn’t seem to be helping at all. His ‘don’t’ warning doesn’t mean much without a real strategy behind it.

Peter Gonzales October 12, 2023 - 3:17 am

The threat of this becoming a regional conflict is looming larger every day. Lebanon, Syria now involved? This could spiral real quick.

Sophie Li October 12, 2023 - 7:12 am

Those poor people. Humanitarian corridors need to be opened like yesterday. Who’s coordinating this anyway?


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