The Israeli defense minister on Monday announced a “complete siege” on Gaza and said Israeli forces were fighting “human animals” as Israeli airstrikes have been bombarding the enclave, which is home to about one million children.
“I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed,” said Israeli Defense Yoav Gallant,” according to The Times of Israel. “We are fighting human animals, and we are acting accordingly.”
Also on Monday, Hamas warned it would start executing Israeli captives it has taken into Gaza if Israel does not stop its airstrikes. According to Middle East Eye, Abu Ubaida, spokesman for the military wing of Hamas, said the prisoners were currently safe and sound but that they are being forced to act due to Israel’s airstrikes on civilians. He said if the bombing didn’t stop, civilian prisoners would be killed, and the executions would be documented.
Since Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on southern Israel on Saturday, over 1,300 people have been killed on both sides, including 800 Israelis and 550 Palestinians. An Israeli military spokesman said early Monday morning that about 100,000 troops are amassed in southern Israel waiting to execute their orders, which include making sure “Hamas will not be able to govern the Gaza Strip.”
US officials expect Israel to launch a ground incursion into Gaza soon, and the Biden administration is providing full support, including new military aid and the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the region as a show of force.
Gaza has over 2 million residents and has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007, and has come under frequent Israeli bombings since then, leaving the people living in the enclave in a dire situation. Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on earth, meaning a full-scale Israeli invasion will incur substantial civilian casualties.