Israeli Energy Minister, Israel Katz, said Thursday, that supplies would remain cut off to the Gaza strip until hostages were released, after Israeli Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, ordered the “complete siege” of the Gaza Strip on Monday.
This news comes days after the militant attack on Saturday morning from terrorist organization, Hamas, that operates out of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, on major population centres in Israel. The terrorist group breached the fortified border fence with Israel, sending troops deep into Israeli territory as they bombarded Israeli towns with thousands of rockets. The attack left 1,200 dead in Israel.
Hamas, has taken ownership of this attack, calling it operation “Al-Aqsa Storm”, and claims it to be a response to the desecration of the al-Aqsa Mosque, Israeli attacks on women, as well as the ongoing occupation of Gaza.
Israeli responded swiftly with what they are calling operation “Swords of Iron”, striking suspected Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza, after pledging to make Hamas pay for their attack with a ground invasion of the territory. The military strikes left 1,354 dead, and 6,049 injured in Gaza.
Israel took back control of their territory on Monday after two days of fighting in the streets, however as Hamas retreated, they claim to have taken 150 hostages, threatening their broadcasted execution if Israel does not give warning before unleashing further airstrikes.
When asked if Israel has ended the “knock on the roof” protocol, a model that Israel has used to alert Palestinian citizens of an incoming airstrike, they replied that Hamas did not “knock on the roof”.
In Gaza, the humanitarian crisis is spiraling out of control as the enclave’s only power station failed on Wednesday, and hospitals are expected to run out of fuel as food and water will begin to dwindle as a result of Israel’s embargo.
Now into the sixth day of conflict the United States has vowed to stand with Israel on Monday, with President Biden calling Hamas’ attack “pure unadulterated evil”.
Furthermore, Biden said "like every nation in the world, Israel has the right to respond — indeed has a duty to respond — to these vicious attacks.”
President Biden and Vice President Harris have spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pledging full support to Israel. Biden has confirmed that Americans are among the hostages being held by Hamas, and has said that the U.S will send military systems to replenish the Iron Dome, Israeli’s air-defense system.
"When Congress returns, I'm going to ask them to take urgent action to fund the national security requirements of our critical partners," said Biden.
The situation in Israel remains tense and uncertain as inclement shelling continues on both sides. Senior Hamas member Saleh al-Arouri told Al-Jazeera Arabic on Saturday that they are “ready for the worst-case scenario, including a ground invasion, which will be best for [them] to decide the ending of this battle”. While on Monday, Israeli Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said the goal is to “end the Gaza enclave” and “control the entire enclave”.
By Dillin Bett