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Around 1,000 dead in Israel-Hamas war, as Lebanon’s Hezbollah also launches strikes

Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel exchange fire as Israeli soldiers battle Hamas the day after a surprise attack, with hostages taken

Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu declares war and vows victory as Hamas urges ‘Arab and Islamic nations’ to join the fight

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday warned of a “long and difficult” war, as fighting with Hamas left hundreds dead on both sides and thousands more injured after a surprise attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group. Netanyahu’s security cabinet officially declared the country at war, saying the decision formally authorises “the taking of significant military steps”.

The prime minister spoke with the leaders of Germany, Ukraine, Italy and Britain, who expressed support of Israel’s right to defend itself “as much as it takes”, said Netanyahu’s office.

The US said it was considering Israeli requests for additional military aid, on top of the annual US$3.8 billion agreed to under former President Barack Obama, and said it had reports that several Americans were killed.

The Middle Eastern conflict’s bloodiest escalation in decades saw Hamas carry out a massive rocket barrage and ground, air and sea offensive on Saturday.

The death toll in Israel surged to over 600, the Israeli government said on Sunday.

The death toll in the Gaza Strip rose to 370, the health ministry in the Palestinian enclave said on Sunday, as Israel launched air strikes on Hamas targets for the second consecutive day, hitting housing blocks, tunnels, a mosque and homes of Hamas officials.

The Hamas-controlled ministry said 2,200 were injured. More than 20,000 Palestinians in Gaza have sought refuge in schools run by the United Nations, said the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency.
Over 100 people were being held as “prisoners” by Hamas, Israel said, with captives including women and children, who Hamas is likely to try to trade for thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Tel Aviv.




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