Israel-Gaza Conflict Update
Israel announced a full siege of the Gaza Strip yesterday as the conflict between the two regions entered a third day, with Israel drafting 300,000 reservists and cutting off food, electricity, and fuel to the Gaza Strip, which was already under a 16-year blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt. Israel's full blockade comes after Hamas, which runs Gaza internally, took at least 150 civilians and soldiers hostage following a wide-ranging surprise attack on Israel over the weekend (see previous write-up).
Hamas has threatened to execute an Israeli hostage each time an airstrike hits civilian homes in Gaza without warning. The US and the EU designate Hamas as a terrorist group due to its history of armed opposition against Israel (see overview). At least 900 people have died so far in Israel, including at least 11 Americans, and at least 687 Palestinians have died in Gaza. More than 6,000 have been injured from both sides since Saturday.
Israel also exchanged fire yesterday with neighboring Lebanon's militant group Hezbollah after Palestinian militants had infiltrated Israel's northern border. The US is among governments designating Hezbollah as a terrorist group (see overview).
See a visual timeline of the decadeslong Israel-Palestine conflict here.