- On Saturday, October 7, 2023, a large escalation of the Gaza–Israel conflict began with a coordinated offensive by multiple Palestinian militant groups against Israel
- Hostilities were initiated by a rocket barrage against Israel and vehicle-transported incursions into the country
- In total, at least 2,200 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, causing hundreds of Israeli casualties
Hamas, Israel - The controversial Palestinian group, Hamas, launched the biggest attack on Israel in years on Saturday, October 7, in a surprise assault that combined gunmen crossing into several Israeli towns with a heavy barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.
Legit.ng reports that many people worldwide have been reacting to the attack.
What is happening in the northern Gaza Strip? Here’s what we know:
Issue dates back to 2005
The Gaza–Israel conflict is a part of the localized Israeli–Palestinian conflict but is also a scene of power struggle between regional powers.
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The conflict originated with the election of the Islamist political party Hamas in 2005 and 2006 in the Gaza Strip. It escalated with the split of the Palestinian National Authority into the Fatah government in the West Bank and the Hamas government in Gaza and the violent ousting of Fatah after the party (Fatah) lost the election to Hamas.
22 Israelis killed
According to Israeli media, at daybreak on Saturday, October 7, gunmen had opened fire on passers-by in the town of Sderot, and footage circulating on social media appeared to show clashes in city streets as well as gunmen in jeeps roaming the countryside. Several reports indicate that 22 people were killed.
Currently, gun battles are taking place in and around the towns of Kfar Aza, Sderot, Sufa, Nahal Oz, Magen, Be’eri, and the Re’im military base, the Times of Israel reported.
Israeli civilians living near the Gaza Strip continue to plead for help.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that his country would exact a “huge price” on Hamas.
Netanyahu told his Security Cabinet on Saturday that Israel’s first goal is to “cleanse the area” of militants and regain control of the southern communities that were attacked.
Israeli defence minister, Yoav Gallant, added that Hamas had made "a grave mistake" by launching "a war" against the country.
EU fumes over attack on Israel
European leaders condemned the attack and proclaimed Israel’s right to defend itself.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement:
“It is terrorism in its most despicable form.
“Israel has the right to defend itself against such heinous attacks.”
Tax rises fuel merchants' discontent in Gaza
In a piece of related news, Legit.ng reported that hikes in import and export tariffs imposed by the Islamist rulers of the Gaza Strip since 2022 have fuelled discontent among merchants in the impoverished, blockaded territory.
In March, Gaza's Hamas rulers imposed new duties on the import of fruit and the export of fish.