Israeli and Palestinian death reports rise as Netanyahu vows “a long and difficult war”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had embarked “on a long and difficult war that was forced on us by a murderous Hamas attack” in a statement on Sunday. The surprise operation launched by land, air and sea by Hamas early Saturday on the holiday of Simchat Torah is being called “unprecedented,” the broadest attack in 50 years, prompting Israeli airstrikes on Gaza in return. 

The Prime Minister’s statement claimed “the destruction of the vast majority of the enemy forces that infiltrated our territory” and said Israeli forces “have begun the offensive phase, which will continue with neither limitations nor respite until the objectives are achieved.” 

Officials on both sides reported more casualties by Sunday afternoon, with at least 250 Israelis and 370 Palestinians reportedly killed, according to the New York Times, and thousands wounded.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” this morning, saying the U.S. was attempting to verify reports that Americans are among the casualties of the attacks.

“We have reports that several Americans were killed,” Blinken said. “We’re working overtime to confirm that.” 

Yesterday, President Joe Biden made a formal statement on the conflict, stating, “The United States stands with Israel.”


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