By Peters Monday, Abuja
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has ordered the immediate shutdown of roads, food supply, and electricity transmission to Gaza following a midnight attack by Hamas militants.
This is coming on the heels of a massive assault against Israel on Saturday, killing and wounding hundreds of people.
He said, “I have ordered a complete siege to the Gaza Strip,” Gallant said following an assessment meeting at the IDF Southern Command on Monday.
“There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed,” he added, as quoted by the Times of Israel.
“We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly,” the minister reportedly added, apparently referring to the Hamas militants who have taken control of parts of Gaza.
The chief spokesperson, Daniel Hagari of the Israeli military, also emphasised on Monday that Israel had regained control of all towns on the Gaza border and that there is little to no fighting in the communities which were overrun by Hamas militants during the weekend’s assault.
“There may be still terrorists in the area,” Hagari admitted, stressing that clashes between the IDF and Hamas fighters have been “isolated.”
Blockade Of Gaza
The spokesman said that IDF tanks and drones are currently controlling the openings in the border fence to prevent more infiltrations by Palestinian fighters and that 15 of the 24 border communities have already been evacuated.
Meanwhile, the IDF has said it is carrying out “widespread” airstrikes against several Hamas positions across Gaza.
The latest escalation between Hamas and Israel began early on Saturday when the Palestinian resistance group launched a surprise attack on multiple locations along the Gaza border.
Congress learnt that the Militants overran several military installations and infiltrated deep into Israeli territory, attacking multiple settlements and launching thousands of rockets. Israeli officials have estimated that more than 700 people had been killed in the Hamas assault and over 2,200 had been wounded.
In response, Israel has launched massive airstrikes on Gaza and is preparing a ground operation against the Palestinian exclave.
Troops had been redeployed en masse to the south of the country and a call-up of military reservists had been announced.
Consequently, Israel officially declared a state of war on Sunday, invoking Article 40 of its Basic Law.