(TheConservativeTimes.org) – On Sunday, Israel formally declared war on Hamas in response to the Iranian-backed terror group’s surprise attack in Israel on Saturday that killed at least 900 civilians, CNN reported.
In a video posted on social media, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Saturday that Israel was “not in an operation or in rounds, but at war.” He vowed that Hamas would “pay an unprecedented price” for Saturday’s surprise attack and warned that Israel would “return fire of a magnitude that the enemy has not known.”
On Sunday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) called up 300,000 reservists after the Israeli Security Council formally declared war.
Between Sunday night and Monday morning, Israel launched helicopters, fighter jets, and artillery on the Gaza Strip hitting Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets, CBS News reported.
By Monday morning, Israeli airstrikes had killed over 680 people and injured approximately 3,700. The Gaza Ministry of Health was quick to claim that around 140 children were among the dead.
According to the IDF, the airstrikes destroyed tunnels and at least seven Hamas command centers. Another command center used by the other Iranian-backed Palestinian terror group Islamic Jihad, was also hit.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has vowed that Israel will take “mighty vengeance” and urged Palestinian civilians in Gaza to “leave now.”
In a television address on Monday night, Netanyahu said Israel “did not want this war” but war was “forced upon us in the most brutal and savage way.”
Describing Hamas’ surprise attacks as “savage,” Netanyahu compared the Iranian-backed terrorists to ISIS and called on the “forces of civilization” to “support Israel in defeating Hamas” just as they “united to defeat ISIS.”
A spokesperson for the National Security Council confirmed on Monday that at least nine US citizens are among the dead in Saturday’s attack.
Israel is expected to launch a ground operation into Gaza in the coming days.
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