Middle East: Hundreds dead after attack on Israel - Baerbock warns

After the surprising major attack on Israel, the Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip continued shelling its arch-enemy during the night.

Middle East: Hundreds dead after attack on Israel - Baerbock warns

After the surprising major attack on Israel, the Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip continued shelling its arch-enemy during the night. There were heavy rocket attacks during the night against several cities, including the coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv.

In response, the Israeli military bombed additional Hamas command centers. According to media reports, at least 300 people have died in Israel so far. Around 1,590 people were injured. On the Palestinian side in the Gaza Strip, at least 232 people were killed and almost 1,700 injured, as the local Ministry of Health announced. Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock warned of a major escalation in the region.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a tough reaction in the Gaza Strip. “We will turn all the places where Hamas is organized and hides into islands of rubble,” Netanyahu said in a speech on Saturday evening. He called on residents of the Gaza Strip to "flee from there now, because we will act everywhere and with all our strength." Israel will take revenge. “This war will take time,” Netanyahu said. “There are still challenging days ahead.”

The federal government is checking whether German citizens are affected

According to the military, the Islamist Hamas, which rules in the Gaza Strip, fired more than 3,000 rockets at Israel during the day on Saturday. At the same time, armed Palestinians advanced into Israel by land, sea and air that morning. According to the military, several Israelis were abducted to the Gaza Strip. A military spokesman spoke of a "significant number", but Israel has not yet given any precise details. Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist organization by the EU, USA and Israel, spoke of dozens of abductees.

The federal government is checking whether German citizens are affected. The Foreign Office said on Saturday evening that they were in close contact with the Israeli authorities. The situation is confusing. Unconfirmed reports circulated on social networks that a German citizen was among those kidnapped.

Hamas' surprise attack began exactly 50 years after the Yom Kippur War of 1973. The attack by hostile Arab states on Israel on the highest Jewish holiday is considered the worst national trauma to date. “This day is a turning point, an unprecedented act of escalation by Hamas,” said Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Saturday in Berlin. “As a result of these terrorist attacks, there is now an incalculable risk of a major regional escalation,” said the Green politician.

Talks about forming an emergency government

Meanwhile, the Israeli Navy identified seven terrorists in the Zikim Beach area of ​​Israeli territory in the past few hours, the military said. Marines and aircraft prevented the terrorists from entering residential areas. Warplanes attacked three Hamas operational command centers that the terrorist organization uses to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip.

The violence also continues in the West Bank. Six Palestinians, including a 13-year-old boy, were killed in clashes with the Israeli army in several places on Saturday, the Health Ministry in Ramallah said. According to Palestinian reports, another man was shot dead by Israeli soldiers after an attempted knife attack.

In the background there were talks in Israel that evening about forming an emergency government. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered the two opposition leaders Jair Lapid and Benny Gantz to join an emergency government, a spokesman for Netanyahu's Likud party said. Lapid had previously signaled his willingness to do so. However, according to media reports, a meeting between Lapid and Gantz was said to have failed to reach an agreement.

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