(RepublicanDaily.org) – The state of Israel has formally declared war against Hamas, the Islamic militant group that launched the biggest offensive against the Jewish country in recent history.
The attack was conducted on multiple fronts and saw armed Islamic fundamentalists brazenly crossing the Israeli border through several locations while Hamas armaments rained down thousands of missiles down on innocent civilian structures close to the border. A single incident, which involved militants attacking a music festival largely filled with young people, saw more than 260 dead, with viral videos circulating that show attendees being shot point blank by assailants.
The death toll has now passed 2,300 fatalities and continues to rise, with thousands more injured. Hamas also managed to take more than 150 hostages across the border back into Gaza. The militant group says it will use the hostages as bargaining chips to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, and also threatened to kill hostages in retaliation for further attacks on the Gaza Strip.
While the declaration of war will give Israel more significant options to pursue in terms of the military response it can take against Hamas, Israeli forces quickly retaliated by launching missile attacks of their own, hitting more than 400 targets. Israeli military has also had clashes in its northern region with another Islamic militant group, the Lebanon-based Hezbollah.
Israel has also called up 300,000 reservists to bolster its forces, in tandem with enforcing a complete blockage of the Gaza Strip, cutting off supplies of food, fuel, and electricity to the Hamas-controlled area.
The U.S., along with other allies like France, the U.K., and Germany, released a statement condemning the Hamas massacre and have reiterated their support for Israel. The U.S. has also sent its USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to move closer to the eastern Mediterranean due to the escalation of hostilities. The carrier strike group comprises the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, currently the largest warship in the world, as well as Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Ramage, USS Thomas Hudner, USS Carney and USS Roosevelt, and the USS Normandy, a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser.
14 Americans have been confirmed to be killed during the attacks, with more missing, injured, and potentially dead.
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