The Israeli army is mobilizing 300,000 reservists to respond militarily to the bloody attack by Hamas terrorists that left at least 900 dead and 2,600 injured. The order points to a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, a densely populated coastal strip on the Mediterranean. It is the largest mobilization in Israeli history in such a short period of time, an army spokesman said.

Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist organization by the USA, the EU and Israel, caused the worst bloodbath among civilians since the founding of the Israeli state in a major attack on the Israeli border area on Saturday. According to official figures, more than 4,500 rockets have now been fired at Israel.

Israel’s army attacks more Hamas positions

The army responded with massive bombings of the Gaza Strip. The army announced late in the evening that further positions were attacked from the air and from ships on Monday. The military bombed, among other things, weapons depots, tunnels and a Hamas command center in a mosque. In addition, a meeting point and residential building of members of the Islamic Jihad was hit, it said. Two terrorists were killed.

According to unconfirmed media reports, the bodies of around 1,500 Palestinian terrorists are said to be on Israeli territory. The army itself had previously announced that it had killed hundreds of attackers who had entered Israel from the Gaza Strip since Saturday. The soldiers also took hundreds of Palestinian militants prisoner.

A Hamas spokesman told the Arabic broadcaster Al Jazeera that the group was open to mediation. Hamas had previously called for a prisoner exchange.

There were also fighting on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, increasing concerns that the conflict could spread. Israeli attack helicopters attacked targets in southern Lebanon. The Israeli military said soldiers had previously shot several gunmen who had advanced into Israel. The Shiite organization Hezbollah, which like Hamas is allied with Iran, denied involvement.

Israel’s President: Experiences like no other since the Holocaust

According to Israeli President Izchak Herzog, not since the Holocaust have as many Jews been killed in one day as in the Hamas terror attacks on Saturday. “Not since the Holocaust have we seen Jewish women and children, grandparents – even Holocaust survivors – being crammed into trucks and taken into captivity,” he said, according to his spokesman.

In a completely destroyed kibbutz near the Gaza Strip with around 1,000 inhabitants, more than 100 bodies were recovered on Monday, the first day of the search, as the media reported, citing rescue workers. More deaths are feared there.

Hamas terrorists entered towns near the border on Saturday, the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah (Joy of the Torah), and went from house to house in search of victims. They shot men, women and children and kidnapped others to the Gaza Strip.

According to rescue workers, 260 mostly young participants were killed by terrorists at a music festival in the Negev Desert. There were horrific images on social media that were hard to bear.

Netanyahu denies warnings from Egypt

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied media reports that Egypt had warned Israel of an impending attack from the Gaza Strip. Such reports were “absolutely false,” Netanyahu’s office said.

Israeli media previously reported that Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel warned Netanyahu 10 days before the terrorist attack that “something unusual, a terrible operation” was to be expected in the Gaza Strip area.

Numerous people kidnapped into the Gaza Strip

The fate of around 150 Israeli hostages kidnapped in the Gaza Strip is of great concern. Israel’s army says it took hundreds of Hamas members prisoner. Hundreds of terrorists were also killed in the Gaza Strip and also at the border fence, said military spokesman Daniel Hagari, according to Israeli media. Terrorists from the Gaza Strip are currently no longer entering Israel.

Among those abducted are citizens of several Western countries, including a German woman. Many reportedly have dual citizenship.

Hamas threatened to execute a civilian hostage for every attack carried out by Israel, a spokesman said. The organization had previously called for a prisoner exchange and demanded the release of 36 imprisoned Palestinian women in Israel in exchange for the handover of elderly kidnapped Israeli women.

Israel takes the fate of abducted citizens extremely seriously. The dimensions of the current hostage-taking only really become clear in view of an earlier case. In 2006, Hamas kidnapped the Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit and held him prisoner in Gaza for five years until, in 2011, after years of negotiations, including with the mediation of a German diplomat, he was exchanged for more than 1,000 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel.

Attacks on Gaza Strip – area completely sealed off

The situation is likely to continue to worsen for the approximately two million mostly poor residents of the Gaza Strip. According to the Ministry of Health there, at least 687 people were killed and more than 3,800 injured in massive Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip in response to the major attack.

Israel ordered the complete closure of the Gaza Strip, which is only 40 kilometers long and six to twelve kilometers wide and is only slightly larger than Munich. Defense Minister Joav Galant said: “There will be no electricity, no food and no fuel.”

Humanitarian aid deliveries from various organizations have been prepared from Egypt, a Palestinian spokesman said at the Egyptian Rafah border crossing in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Aid projects for Palestinians are stopped

Germany, the EU and other states such as Australia announced that they were initially suspending aid to the Palestinian population in view of Hamas terror. The German programs would be reviewed comprehensively and with an open outcome, said a spokeswoman for the Development Ministry in Berlin.

Netanyahu vowed “revenge” on Sunday. “We will change the Middle East,” he said, according to a statement from representatives of Israeli towns in the south of the country. “What Hamas will experience will be harsh and terrible. We are only at the beginning.” The army’s task is to weaken Hamas so that it can no longer threaten Israelis and rule the Gaza Strip, an army spokesman said.