Israel’s war with Hamas is expected to ramp up in the coming days as an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza looms, CBS News reported.
Israel has been pounding Gaza with airstrikes since last Saturday’s brutal surprise terrorist attacks in which Hamas fired rockets into Israel while terrorists stormed into the country killing more than 1,300 Israeli citizens and taking about 150 hostages.
It was reported last Monday that Hamas spokesman Abu Ubaida threatened to begin executing the Israeli hostages if Israel launched airstrikes without pre-warning civilians in Gaza.
Ubaida said if any Palestinian civilians are targeted without warning, the attacks would be “met with the execution of civilian hostages.” He warned that Hamas would broadcast the executions “with video and audio.”
In an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday night, President Biden defended Israel’s response to last weekend’s attacks, saying the country “has to respond” and must “go after Hamas. At the same time, Biden suggested that it would be a “big mistake” for Israel to occupy Gaza.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed on Sunday that 155 civilians were taken hostage by Hamas during the October 7 attacks, including an undetermined number of Americans, CBS reported.
The IDF notified the United Nations Thursday night that the Palestinian civilians living north of Wadi Gaza should head to southern Gaza within 24 hours.
The only way out of Gaza is through the Rafah border crossing along the south into Egypt. However, the crossing remains closed.
By Friday morning, the IDF ordered civilians in Gaza City to move further south for their safety. However, Hamas urged civilians to remain in their homes.
Meanwhile, the death toll from the conflict continues to rise. According to Israeli officials, more than 1,300 Israelis have been killed in ongoing rocket fire and last weekend’s surprise attacks, including at least 276 military personnel. Another 3,200 others have been injured.
Gaza’s Health Ministry claimed on Sunday that the air strikes have killed around 2,670 people and wounded at least 9,600.
The State Department confirmed on Sunday that 30 Americans have been killed while another 13 remain unaccounted for.