Death toll has surpassed 1,100 and thousands wounded on both sides as the Israeli government formally declared war and retaliated against Hamas for its surprise attack.
The military launched its fight on Monday to crush fighters still in southern towns and intensified its bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
This development comes 40 hours after Hamas launched its unprecedented incursion out of Gaza, as Israeli forces were still battling with militants holed up in several locations.
Sources have reported the death of at least 700 people in Israel, which is a staggering toll on a scale the country has not experienced in decades, while in Gaza, more than 400 have been killed.
According to Israel, it has brought in special forces to try to wrest control of four Israeli sites from Hamas fighters, including two kibbutzim that militants entered earlier in their attacks.
The war continues as footages have been released by Israeli police from one area showing forces kneeling in tall grass as they exchanged fire with Hamas militants across an open field.
The declaration of war portended greater fighting ahead, and a major question was whether Israel would launch a ground assault into Gaza, a move that in the past has brought intensified casualties.
Meanwhile, the situation has transcended into an announcement into the first sign of the scope of abductions as Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad group claimed to have taken captive more than 130 people from inside Israel and brought them into Gaza, stressing that they would be traded for the release of thousands of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.
The captives are known to include soldiers and civilians, including women, children and older adults — mostly Israelis but also some people of other nationalities. The Israeli military said only that the number of captives is “significant.”
The Israeli military estimated 1,000 Hamas fighters took part in Saturday’s initial incursion. The high figure underscored the extent of planning by the militant group ruling Gaza, which has said it launched the attack in response to mounting Palestinian suffering under Israel’s occupation and blockade of Gaza.
The Israeli military has started evacuating at least five towns close to Gaza while a line of people snaked outside a central Israel police station to supply DNA samples and other means that could help identify missing family members.
It was a pathetic situation finding a divorced mother of two, Mayyan Zin who said she learned that her two daughters had been abducted when a relative sent her photos from a Telegram group showing them sitting on mattresses in captivity.
Another scenario is when she found online videos of a chilling scene in her ex-husband’s home in the town of Nahal Oz.
Gunmen who had broken in spoke to him, his leg bleeding, in the living room near the two terrified, weeping daughters, Dafna, 15, and Ella, 8.
The father being taken across the border into Gaza was another video which was discovered. Zin said, “Just bring my daughters home and to their family. All the people.”
Israel suffered an attack by Palestinian group, Hamas, on Saturday.
President Joe Biden of of the United States of America, pledged his support for the nation after the attack.