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Israel has declared war for the first time in 50 years

October 10, 2023 160 Time to read: 4 min.

The Islamic organization Hamas, recognized as a terrorist organization by Israel and several other countries, launched an unexpected rocket attack on Israel on October 7, 2023. After a series of attacks, Hamas militants invaded the south, entered Israeli population centers and began clashes. On Oct. 8, the country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, addressed the nation. He said that in response to the aggression of Hamas, a counter-terrorist operation is declared, Israel goes to a state of war. Leaders from Europe, the US, Japan, NATO and the UN secretary general condemned the terror group’s attacks.

After launching crushing attacks on the Gaza Strip on Oct. 8, Israeli authorities officially notified citizens that the country was entering a state of war under the “Basic Law: Government,” which defines the procedures for “declaring war or commencing significant military action.”

A statement released by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Press Office said, “The conflict, which began following a bloody terrorist attack from the Gaza Strip on the State of Israel, began yesterday at 06:00 (Saturday, October 7, 2023).” Israel’s armed forces are fighting terrorists who have invaded their territory. The current armed conflict against Israel is one of the largest in the last 50 years. There are 24 villages along the border with the Gaza Strip from which Israel is evacuating civilians.

Victims in the Israel-Hamas war

As for the number, according to Israeli media, more than 700 people have been killed and some 2,243 Israelis have been wounded.

Hamas reports they hold about 35 hostages, and another 30 hostages are being held by the Islamic Jihad group in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians claim 413 casualties and 2,300 injured residents from Israeli airstrikes, among them 78 children, according to preliminary reports. At the Nature Party music festival, which was attacked by Hamas militants on October 7, 260 bodies were found, according to the volunteer organization ZAKA.

U.S. and other nations’ support for Israel

Many nations have given support to Israel. Anthony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, shared in an interview with NBC that Israeli authorities have asked Washington for “special additional support.” On October 8, the U.S. Department of Defense announced an increased U.S. military presence in the region and the delivery of munitions to Israel. The U.S. has moved an aircraft carrier and other warships to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, according to the U.S. Defense Department. A U.S. carrier strike group under the command of the aircraft carrier Gerald Ford is also reported to have headed for Israeli shores.

On October 8, 2023, Benjamin Netanyahu held telephone talks with the leaders of the following countries: Olaf Scholz – Chancellor of Germany, Giorgia Meloni – Prime Minister of Italy, Rishi Sunak – Prime Minister of Great Britain and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s press office said they all expressed full support for Israel’s right to self-defense. Olaf Scholz noted that the safe and peaceful life of Israeli citizens is a priority for Germany and assured that Berlin will take the necessary measures for this purpose. Also, the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development announced its intention to revise the program that provides aid to Palestine in order to ensure the improvement of the lives of local residents, but at the same time not to support terrorist groups. On October 8, Israeli flags were raised on the Bundestag and Chancellor’s Office buildings in the German capital and in Brussels on the European Parliament building.

Speech by Israel’s permanent representative to the UN

Gilad Erdan, who is Israel’s representative to the UN, said the Hamas group’s attack on Israeli territories is seen as “cruel and brutal war crime” in the upcoming emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

He also emphasized the need to destroy Hamas terrorist bases and infrastructure to prevent the recurrence of such horrific situations, as The New York Times noted. According to Riyad Mansour, permanent observer of the Palestinian National Authority to the UN, Palestine is asking for an urgent meeting of the foreign ministers of the Arab League member states to be held in Cairo in the coming days.

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