Israeli forces and Palestinian group Hamas are engaged in a long and difficult war, with hundreds killed on both sides. The 2.3 million Palestinians living in the besieged Gaza Strip experienced terror and darkness as Israel intensified air attacks and cut off power. The Israeli attacks flattened residential buildings, including a 14-storey tower in central Gaza City, and targeted Hamas’s intelligence chief’s home. Israeli forces fired barrages of artillery into southern Lebanon after Hezbollah targeted three Israeli military positions in the disputed Shebaa Farms. Israeli forces took control of a police station in Sderot, killing at least 10 Palestinian fighters after an hours-long standoff. Hamas’ Qassam Brigades reported that their fighters were still engaged in “fierce clashes” in several cities inside Israel.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will hold emergency closed consultations on Sunday to address the escalating violence between Israel and the Palestinians. The meeting was first called by Malta, with the UAE and Brazil later supporting it. China expressed concern over the violence and urged calmness from all sides. Egypt is in talks with Saudi Arabia and Jordan to defuse tensions. Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi warned of the “volatility” of the situation, while Saudi Arabia called for an immediate cessation of violence. US President Joe Biden criticized the Hamas attacks in Israel as “unconscionable” and pledged to ensure Israel has the necessary defenses.
Palestinian casualties in the Gaza Strip have reached 256, with 1,800 wounded. 20 children were killed, and 120 minors were injured. Israel’s military reported 26 soldiers killed in the Hamas attack on the south, while at least 300 Israelis have been killed, including at least 300 Israelis, according to local media reports.