The Israeli death toll has risen to at least 700, including 44 soldiers, as the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israel was embarking on a “long and difficult war”. In Gaza, which was pummelled by Israeli airstrikes, officials have reported at least 413 deaths.
The US special antisemitism envoy, Deborah Lipstadt, called the Hamas attacks “the most lethal assault against Jews since the Holocaust”.
Lipstadt said there was “no justification” for the “heinous, barbaric terrorism against Israeli civilians” and mass murder.
“No one has the right to tell Israel how to defend itself and prevent and deter future attacks.”
The permanent observer mission of the state of Palestine to the UN said in a statement: “These developments did not occur in a vacuum. They are preceded by the killing this year of hundreds of Palestinians… and preceded by decades of Israel’s unrelenting military raids on Palestinian villages, towns, cities and refugee camps.”
The latest major developments:
The Israeli military has reported striking more than 500 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets inside the Gaza Strip overnight, including command centers and the residence of senior Hamas official Ruhi Mashtaa, who allegedly helped direct the infiltration into Israel.
The spokesperson for the Israel Defence Forces, Lt Col Jonathan Conricus posted an update on the IDF’s response online. He said “Almost 48 hours into the fighting … the situation in Israel is a dire one” and the death toll would rise.
Up to 100 Israeli hostages, including women and children, may have been taken into Gaza by Hamas, hugely complicating any Israeli military operation to free them. The whereabouts and fate of the captives has become one of the most pressing issues for military planners.
The Israeli rescue service Zaka said its paramedics had removed approximately 260bodies from a music festival that was attacked by Hamas. Videos posted online showed festival goers running frantically and getting into cars after the attacks.
Numerous members of the UN security council denounced Hamas on Sunday but the US regretted the lack of unanimity. At an emergency session, the US and Israel urged strong condemnation of the Palestinian Islamists. “There are a good number of countries that condemned the Hamas attacks. They’re obviously not all,” senior US diplomat Robert Wood told reporters after the closed-door session. “You could probably figure out one of them without me saying anything,” said Wood, in a clear allusion to Russia.
An Israeli airstrike has killed 19 members of a Palestinian family in a Gaza refugee camp, according to the Associated Press.
The US president, Joe Biden, told the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Sunday that “additional assistance for the Israeli Defense Forces is now on its way to Israel with more to follow over the coming days”. After the call between the two leaders, the White House released a statement, saying: “The President … pledged his full support for the Government and people of Israel in the face of an unprecedented and appalling assault by Hamas terrorists.”
More airlines have suspended flights into Tel Aviv following Hamas’s attacks on Israel over the weekend. Those airlines include Delta, American Airlines, United and Air France.