Hamas seizes four sites, Israel gathers 100,000 reserved troops to recapture
Hamas militants over the weekend have seized four sites in Israel after a surprised attack from the Gaza Strip, according to the Associated Press.
Sites include two kibbutzim that militants entered earlier in their attacks.
The death toll from the conflict has passed 1,100 and thousands have been injured on both sides.
Israel, in response, has amassed 100,000 reserve troops in the country’s south as the government declares war on Hamas in retaliation to its surprise assault over the weekend.
Footage released by Israeli police from one area showed forces kneeling in tall grass as they exchanged fire with Hamas militants across an open field.
IDF International spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said in a video posted to X, formerly Twitter: “Our job is to make sure that at the end of this war, Hamas will no longer have any military capability to threatens Israeli civilians with.”
“And in addition to that, we are to also make sure Hamas will not be able to govern the Gaza Strip,” he said.
Israeli Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht told journalists “it’s taking more time than we expected to get things back into a defensive, security posture”.
At least 700 people have reportedly been killed in Israel — a staggering toll on a scale the country has not experienced in decades — and more than 400 have been killed in Gaza.
Many Western nations, including Australia, spoke in support of Israel on Monday.
US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said senators were briefed by senior State Department and Pentagon officials and given assurances the US was giving Israel “everything they need”.
“I asked them if they have denied any requests that Israel has made, and they said no,” he said in a statement.
“I urged them to ensure Israel has everything it needs to protect itself, and reiterated that the Senate stands ready to deliver on additional needs.”
Russia’s UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, has disagreed with US claims the nation did not denounce the Saturday attack.
“It was in my comments,” Mr Nebenzia told Associated Press.
“We condemn all the attacks on civilians.”