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Hamas militants attacked Israel on Saturday.
The death toll so far is 1,600 on both sides.
Israel increased airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and sealed it off from food, fuel and other supplies Monday in retaliation for a bloody incursion by Hamas militants, as the war’s death toll rose to nearly 1,600 on both sides. Hamas also escalated the conflict, pledging to kill captured Israelis if attacks targeted civilians without warnings.
In the war’s third day, Israel was still finding bodies from Hamas’ stunning weekend attack into southern Israeli towns. Rescue workers found 100 bodies in the tiny farming community of Be’eri — around 10% of its population — after a long hostage standoff with gunmen. In Gaza, tens of thousands fled their homes as relentless airstrikes leveled buildings.
The Israeli military said it had largely gained control in the south after the attack caught its vaunted military and intelligence apparatus completely off guard and led to fierce battles in its streets for the first time in decades. Hamas and other militants in Gaza say they are holding more than 130 soldiers and civilians snatched from inside Israel.
Israeli tanks and drones were deployed to guard breaches in the Gaza border fence to prevent new incursions. Thousands of Israelis were evacuated from more than a dozen towns near Gaza, and the military summoned 300,000 reservists — a massive mobilization in a short time.
The United States is now sending air defense and munitions to Israel.
It is not known what exact weapons are being sent.
The Hill reported:
The United States is “surging” air defense and munitions to Israel following terrorist attacks against the country over the weekend, a senior defense official said Monday.
“We remain in constant, ongoing contact with our counterparts in Israel to determine and then support their most urgent requirements,” the official told reporters Monday.
They declined to specify the exact weapons the Israelis had requested, only that they include “munitions of various types and other equipment.”
Defense officials have also contacted “U.S. industry to gain expedited shipment of pending Israeli orders for military equipment that otherwise may have been considered routine for movement,” they said.