Jerusalem/Gaza, Oct 9 (The Street Press) – Hamas’ attack on Israel made oil prices go up on Monday. People were worried that there might be a bigger fight in the Middle East after Israel hit Gaza in response to a very deadly attack.
On Saturday, fighters from the Islamist group Hamas attacked Israeli towns, killing 700 Israelis and kidnapping dozens more. This was the deadliest attack on Israeli territory since Egypt and Syria’s assaults during the Yom Kippur war 50 years ago.
In retaliation, Israeli airstrikes targeted housing blocks, tunnels, a mosque, and homes of Hamas officials in Gaza on Sunday. Sadly, this resulted in the deaths of over 400 people, including 20 children, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised a strong response.
Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, speaking from the town of Ofakim, which also suffered casualties and hostage situations, stated that the Gaza Strip would face severe consequences that could have long-lasting effects for generations.
The Israeli military has mobilized approximately 100,000 soldiers. Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, a spokesperson, explained that their goal is to ensure that by the end of this conflict, Hamas won’t have the military capacity to threaten Israeli civilians anymore. They also aim to prevent Hamas from governing the Gaza Strip.
This ongoing violence has caused instability in global markets. There are concerns about potential disruptions to oil supplies from Iran, which contributed to a significant increase in Brent crude prices by $4.18, reaching $88.76 a barrel in Asian trade as of 0120 GMT.
Iran is seen as an ally of Hamas, and although it congratulated Hamas on the attack, Iran’s mission to the United Nations stated that Tehran was not directly involved in the attacks.
The continuous increase in oil prices could effectively act as a tax on consumers and contribute to global inflationary pressures. This had a negative impact on equities, with S&P 500 futures dropping by 0.7% and Nasdaq futures losing 0.6%.
Additionally, several international airlines have temporarily suspended flight services to Tel Aviv due to the Hamas attack. They are waiting for conditions to improve before resuming flights.
In addition to the conflict in blockaded Gaza, Israeli forces and Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah militia engaged in artillery and rocket exchanges on Sunday. Tragically, in Egypt, two Israeli tourists and a guide were shot dead.
The world called for restraint, although Western nations generally supported Israel. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi even congratulated the Hamas leader for what he called a “victory,” and Hezbollah, along with protesters in various Middle Eastern countries, praised Hamas.
In southern Israel, the fighting continued on Sunday, with Hamas gunmen still clashing with Israeli security forces more than 24 hours after their unexpected, multi-pronged attack involving rocket barrages and armed groups that overtook army bases and entered border towns.
Yoni Asher, who shared his distressing experience, said, “My two little girls, they’re only babies. They’re not even five years old and three years old.” He recounted seeing a video of Palestinian gunmen taking his wife and two small daughters after she had taken them to visit her mother.
Uri David, during a news conference, revealed that he spent 30 agonizing minutes on the phone with his two daughters, Tair and Odaya, during the attack. However, they eventually stopped responding to him, and he had no knowledge of their fate. “I heard shooting, shouting in Arabic, I told them to lie on the ground and hold hands,” he said, breaking down in tears.
The Israeli military, which is facing criticism for not preventing the attack, reported that they had regained control of most infiltration points along security barriers. They claimed to have killed hundreds of attackers and taken dozens more as prisoners.
Israeli airstrikes on Gaza targeted Hamas’ offices and training camps but also resulted in damage to houses and other buildings. According to the Palestinian health ministry, 413 Palestinians, including 78 children, were killed, and 2,300 people were wounded since the events began on Saturday.
The Palestinian foreign ministry condemned Israel’s actions, stating, “As an occupying power, Israel has no right or justification to target the defenseless civilian population in Gaza or elsewhere in Palestine,” and denounced it as a “barbarous campaign of death and destruction.” Meanwhile, Hamas continued firing rocket salvos into Israel on Sunday.
The Israeli military reported that it had deployed tens of thousands of soldiers around Gaza, where 2.3 million Palestinians reside. They also began evacuating Israelis near the border.
Qassab al-Attar, a Palestinian wheelchair user in Gaza, shared his sentiments, saying, “This is my fifth war. The war should stop. I don’t want to keep feeling this.”
While Israel has not provided an official toll, its media reported that at least 700 people, including children, were killed in Saturday’s attacks. Military spokesperson Daniel Hagari referred to it as “the worst massacre of innocent civilians in Israel’s history.”
A White House National Security Council spokesperson confirmed that several Americans were killed by Hamas attackers. The U.S. is closely monitoring the situation.
Reports from Israeli media stated that around 30 Israelis who had been missing after a dance party was attacked by gunmen emerged from hiding on Sunday. The death toll for the outdoor gathering was estimated at 260.
Additionally, Palestinian fighters took dozens of hostages to Gaza, including soldiers and civilians of all ages. Another Palestinian militant group, Islamic Jihad, claimed to be holding more than 30 of the captives. The situation remains deeply concerning and complex.
The capture of numerous Israelis, some of whom were taken through security checkpoints or brought into Gaza injured, presents a complex challenge for Netanyahu. This situation has echoes of past instances when hostages were exchanged for Palestinian prisoners.
Aaron David Miller, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, explained, “The cruel reality is Hamas took hostages as an insurance policy against Israeli retaliatory action, particularly a massive ground attack and to trade for Palestinian prisoners.” The situation underscores the complex dynamics at play in this conflict.