The Gaza conflict has taken a distressing turn as a spokesperson for the military wing of Hamas, Abu Obeida, issued a chilling warning on Monday.
He stated that militants would execute civilian hostages in response to Israeli strikes on civilians in their homes in Gaza without warning.
This grim declaration comes amidst intense fighting in Gaza, a densely populated coastal enclave that has endured years of blockade.
In an audio statement, Obeida, a spokesman for the Qassam Brigades, expressed outrage at the recent Israeli airstrikes in civilian areas.
Hamas’ Surprise Attack Leads to Breach of Israel-Gaza Border Fence
These strikes followed Hamas’s surprise attack on Saturday, which resulted in the breach of the border fence separating Israel from the blockaded Gaza Strip.
The audacious attack left more than 1,000 people dead, including over 700 in Israel, according to the Israeli military, and over 570 in Gaza and the West Bank, as reported by the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Additionally, around 100 people have been kidnapped due to these hostilities.
Obeida’s warning emphasized that the executions of civilian hostages would be broadcast in audio and video formats.
It responded to Israel’s declaration of a “full siege” on Gaza, which included extensive airstrikes.
In response to the ongoing conflict and Obeida’s statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the images of devastation and destruction seen in militant strongholds “were just the beginning.”
While Netanyahu did not address the hostage threats directly, he made it clear that Hamas would come to regret initiating the surprise attack.
Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, also declared a full siege on the Gaza Strip, emphasizing the severe restrictions on power, food, and gas. He characterized the ongoing conflict as a battle against human animals and asserted that Israel would respond accordingly.
Amid the escalating violence, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres expressed deep distress.
He condemned the shelling of hospitals and shelters in Gaza and called for the United Nations to have access to deliver humanitarian aid to those in need.
Guterres stressed that Israel’s military operations must adhere to international humanitarian law.
Furthermore, Guterres condemned Hamas for capturing hostages, both civilians and military personnel.
The Gaza conflict raises alarm bells internationally, with calls for an immediate ceasefire and a peaceful resolution to end the violence and suffering of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.
Source: NBC News