This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge.
The total death toll among both sides as the all-out war between Israel and Gaza militants enters its third day has topped 1,100 – with most of these deaths being Israeli, at an estimated 800.
Israel’s defense minister has as of Monday ordered a “complete siege” of Gaza which alarmingly includes cutting off all supply of electricity, fuel, and food, but even water for a densely packed population of 3+ million people in the strip.
Yoav Gallant said, “I have given an order – Gaza will be under complete siege.” He added: “We are fighting barbarians and will respond accordingly.”
At the same time, a statement from energy minister Israel Katz confirmed, “I instructed that the water supply from Israel to Gaza be cut off immediately.”
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have reportedly retaken all the southern towns and settlements that were hit hardest by Saturday’s shock invasion of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militants from Gaza.
A fuller picture of the devastation is still emerging. Israeli authorities have confirmed the recovery of 260 bodies from the site of the desert music festival which was among the first to be invaded by Hamas gunmen…
Mapping and timing the atrocities at the Nova Festival near Rei’m on Saturday morning (long thread).
Working with new drone footage, multiple sets of satellite imagery, and videos, it was possible to assemble a small idea of what happened in a small area.
Note- content warning pic.twitter.com/Y6QoOxo2Bg
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) October 9, 2023
Meanwhile, the IDF continues to pound the Gaza Strip on an unprecedented scale, with top Israeli officials increasingly voicing their approval for a ground invasion, which some say is imminent:
Israeli strikes in Gaza have killed at least 493, including dozens of children, and left 2,651 injured, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
An incursion by Gaza militants of this scale has not been seen in Israel since the nation’s founding in 1948.
But if an Israeli ground assault does ensue, it will be deeply controversial inside Israel given the likely high casualties the IDF will take on (as has been the case in prior high-risk ground incursions).
There are emerging reports that Gaza-based terrorists have beheaded IDF soldiers:
Can confirm that images showing Hamas beheadings of IDF soldiers exist. Do not go searching for them.
Haven’t seen images of that magnitude since ISIS was prevalent.
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) October 8, 2023
At the same time, Hamas and PIJ terrorists are now holding some 100 Israeli hostages taken in Saturday’s cross border raids.
According to Reuters, Qatar is currently seeking to mediate hostage negotiations. The Palestinian side has demanded the release of some 5,000 of their own who have been held in Israeli jails, sometimes for years.
There are believed to be Americans (or dual US-Israeli citizens) currently in captivity in Gaza:
A spokesperson for the NSC said the agency can confirm the deaths of “several” U.S. citizens, but did not provide a specific number.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and to the families of all those affected, and wish those injured a speedy recovery,” the spokesperson wrote in a statement shared with The Hill.
Additional US media sources reported that so far four Americans have been confirmed killed. And later in the morning on Monday the State Department announced nine Americans have been killed.
U.S. STATE DEPT SPOKESPERSON CONFIRMS THE DEATH OF NINE AMERICANS IN ISRAEL
NEW: American citizens have been taken as hostages by Hamas according to Israel Minister for Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer.
In response to these reports, Secretary of State Blinken says the US is “working overtime.”
One person who doesn’t seem to be working overtime is Biden who… pic.twitter.com/kXU8cyDbUy
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) October 9, 2023
BBC is also reporting that at least 10 British citizens are feared dead or missing. According to Israeli officials, the numbers of Americans confirmed to be in captivity could grow as more details emerge:
Ron Dermer, Israel’s minister for strategic affairs, confirmed American citizens were among those taken captive but gave no details about them or those who had been killed.
“Unfortunately, I can’t,” he told CNN. “We have a lot of dual citizens in Israel. I suspect there are several, but we’re still trying to sort through all of all this information after this horrific surprise attack and we’ll make sure to put that information out so that the loved ones of these people who were killed and who are held hostage, they know as quickly as possible.”
On Sunday the Pentagon announced it is sending an aircraft carrier and warships near Israel in a “show of support” – also as Americans as well as dual passport holders and tourists scramble to get out.
Ben Gurion International Airport has come under a barrage of rockets fired from the strip, disrupting all flights in and out.
BREAKING: Direct hit on Ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv by the Palestinian resistance's missiles pic.twitter.com/doj3dIKcXt
— The Cradle (@TheCradleMedia) October 9, 2023