Amidst the escalating conflict between Israel and the Hamas terrorist group, the spokesperson for Hamas’s Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Obeida, has issued a menacing threat to the coastal city of Ashkelon in Israel, warning of a significant rocket barrage within the next few hours, according to The Times of Israel.
Abu Obeida also urged the city’s residents to evacuate their homes to avoid becoming casualties of the impending attacks. “In response to the enemy’s crime of displacing our people and forcing them to flee their homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, we give the residents of the occupied city of Ashkelon a deadline to leave before 5 p.m.,” Abu Obeida stated on his Telegram channel, as reported by The Times of Israel.
The ongoing conflict has taken a devastating toll on both sides. Al Jazeera reported that over 770 Palestinians have lost their lives in Israeli air raids, which followed Israel’s strong retaliation after a surprise attack by Hamas. Among the casualties are 140 children and 120 women, according to a spokesperson from the Health Ministry in Gaza, which also reported 4,000 wounded individuals.
Additionally, in the West Bank region, at least 18 people have been killed and approximately 100 injured since Saturday, as reported by Al Jazeera. Meanwhile, Hamas launched a brutal “surprise attack” on Israel on October 7, resulting in the deaths of at least 900 Israelis and injuries to over 2,616 people.
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) shared a war update, revealing that Hamas is holding about 30 hostages in Gaza during the ongoing conflict. It was also disclosed that approximately 4,500 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel, prompting the Israeli defense forces to strike 1,290 Hamas targets in Gaza.
An IDF spokesperson confirmed that 123 soldiers have lost their lives in the fighting, and 50 families have received notifications of relatives being kidnapped by Hamas.
Earlier in the day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stern warning to Hamas, stating, “Israel is at war. We didn’t want this war. It was forced upon us in the most brutal and savage way. But though Israel didn’t start this war, Israel will finish it,” in an address to the nation.
In response to the Hamas attacks, Israel has mobilized a significant force of 300,000 troops, marking the largest mobilization since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, during which Israel called up 400,000 reservists, according to Times of Israel.
The Israeli Air Force continues to conduct extensive airstrikes on various targets of the terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip.
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