500 Palestinians and 800 Israelis confirmed dead as Israel pounds Gaza

Pic: AA

Eight hundred Israelis and 500 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict which erupted on Saturday morning, according to Israeli and Palestinian sources.

Here is an update from the military and diplomatic front as heavy fighting continues between Israeli forces and Palestinian groups.

The fighting

The death toll of Palestinians rose to 493 people (including 921 children), and over 2,700 injured.

At least 700 Israelis have been killed and over 2,300 wounded.

Over 120,000 Palestinians have been displaced in the Gaza Strip,

More than 130 Israelis are being held captive in Gaza.

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Israeli warplanes destroyed a mosque in western Gaza city, bringing the total number of mosques bombed to five.

Over 500 raids on targets were carried out by the Israeli occupation army across the Gaza Strip overnight.

Israel’s defence minister has called Palestinians in Gaza “human animals”as he announced a full siege on the coastal enclave. “I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed,” Yoav Gallant said. “We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly.”

Hamas has claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on Israel’s international airport in Tel Aviv.

Situation in West Bank

Israel has imposed a lockdown on the West Bank, closing entrances to a number of towns and establishing checkpoints in several locations.

Clashes have been reported across the West Bank as Palestinians have organised rallies to protest Israel’s attacks.

Tensions with Lebanon

Four Israeli soldiers were injured in a friendly fire incident near the border with Lebanon.

The Lebanon-Israel border has become an “active border line” following reports from the Israeli military that “armed infiltrators” had entered the country from Lebanon.

Diplomatic front

The Iranians and Iraqi foreign ministers have called for a special OIC session on Palestine.

The European Commission has put its full portfolio of development aid to Palestinians, worth 691 million euros ($728.66 million), under review.

“The scale of terror and brutality against Israel and its people is a turning point,” Oliver Varhelyi, the EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, said in a post on social media platform X. “There can be no business as usual,” Varhelyi said. The decision means that payments are immediately suspended, projects put under review and new budget proposals postponed until further notice, he added.

Pic: AA

The U.S. is verifying reports that Americans are being held hostage by Hamas, said Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Several Americans have been killed by Hamas, said the U.S. National Security Council.

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog said the war with Hamas will not “end in the blink of an eye.”

Several countries, including the UK, have issued travel advisories, warning against visiting Israel.

Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, has said talks on a two-state solution are the only way forward, making his comment at a news conference in Moscow alongside the Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

International reaction

Pro-Palestine protests have been held throughout the Muslim world.

Scores of people stage a “Free Palestine’ protest in southern UK, showing support for Palestine. Another protest will take place outside the Israeli Embassy in London.

A group of demonstrators gathered in the Swedish capital Stockholm to condemn the Israeli occupation.

Pro-Palestine and pro-Israel supporters rallied in New York.

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