The Israeli military adds, however, that “isolated conflicts” with Hamas terrorists continue. Three hundred thousand reservists have been called up.
Israel’s military declared on Monday (09/10) that it had regained control of locations in the south of the country that had been under attack by the Hamas terrorist group since the beginning of the group’s offensive, which began on Saturday.
According to the Israeli military, there were clashes with Palestinian terrorists in seven or eight locations in southern Israel, near the Gaza Strip.
“We have full control of the communities,” declared Israel’s military spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, in a televised interview.
However, Israeli soldiers and armed terrorists were still exchanging fire in the town of Kfar Azza, prompting Hagari to add that there were isolated clashes and that “there could still be terrorists in the area”.
Hours earlier, the Israeli army announced that more than 500 Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets were hit during the early hours of Monday morning by air strikes and artillery fire.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel is “at war” with Hamas.
The Israeli ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, called on international unity to condemn the Hamas attack on Israel, which he described as “Israel’s 9/11”. “What we are seeing are flagrant and barbaric war crimes: they are murdering civilians, abusing hostages, taking babies from their mothers,” he said.
Record call-up of reservists
Israel has announced the call-up of 300,000 reservists in response to the attack. It is not yet clear whether they will all be sent immediately into combat or whether there will be training beforehand.
The number of call-ups is unprecedented. “We are going on the offensive,” Hagari declared, but without clarifying whether Israel was preparing to invade Gaza.
Hagari said that the Israeli dead included 73 members of the security forces and added that Israel had responded by killing hundreds of Hamas gunmen.
Sirens in Jerusalem
Warning sirens sounded on Monday in Jerusalem and detonations were heard shortly afterwards, journalists in the city said.
The sirens sounded at around midday local time (6am Brasilia time).
On Sunday, the sirens did not sound in Jerusalem, but they were triggered on Saturday, on the first day of the military offensive launched by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, and the rockets launched by the group were then intercepted by Israeli air defenses.
The surprise attack and Israeli retaliation
Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israeli territory on Saturday, launching thousands of rockets and incursions by armed terrorists. The infiltrators seized dozens of communities and went on to massacre the civilian population, in some cases going house to house to kill residents.
In response to the surprise attack, Israel bombed the Gaza Strip. The death toll on both sides of the confrontation has already passed 1,100 as of Monday.
According to observers, Saturday was the bloodiest day of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the Yom Kippur war 50 years ago.