Israel has imposed a total blockade on the Gaza Strip, cutting off all supplies of electricity, food, water and gas to the Palestinian territory, after a deadly attack by Hamas militants on southern Israel.
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant announced the siege on Monday, saying: “We are putting a complete siege on Gaza… No electricity, no food, no water, no gas — it’s all closed,” referring to the enclave that is home to 2.3 million people.
On Saturday, Hamas gunmen infiltrated Israel through the border fence and went on a shooting rampage in the towns and communities near Gaza, killing at least 700 people, including many young Israelis and foreigners who were attending a music festival near Kibbutz Reim.
An organisation that helped to recover the bodies said that at least 250 people were killed by Hamas gunmen at the festival.
“We are fighting animals and are acting accordingly,” Gallant said in Hebrew.
Israel responded with air strikes on the Gaza Strip, targeting Hamas positions and infrastructure. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, at least 493 people have been killed and more than 1,600 injured in the Israeli bombardment.
Al Jazeera reported that the United Nations has warned of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where many people are already living in poverty and facing shortages of basic goods and services.