War Crime: Israel Orders 'Complete Siege Of Gaza', Bombs Strip For Third Day

US stations warplanes and warships near Israel to provide support, warns other countries of exploiting the current situation

War Crime: Israel Orders 'Complete Siege Of Gaza', Bombs Strip For Third Day

Israel has ordered a 'complete siege' of the Gaza strip, cutting off food, water, electricity and gas as it continues to pound the narrow strip for a third day, its extremely severe military retaliation killing over 400 Palestinians days after Hamas launched a surprise attack.

Israeli forces continued to battle pockets of Hamas militants amidst warnings from Hezbollah in Lebanon to Tel Aviv against bullying countries.

On Monday, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said he had ordered a "complete siege" of the Gaza strip, where Saturday's unprecedented attacks originated. 

He said that under the siege, all access to electricity, food, water and gas will be cut off for the over two million residents of the narrow Gaza Strip.

The simultaneous bombing of Gaza pushed the toll of Palestinians to 432 civilians. On one incident in Rafah, an attack on the Basheet refugee camp killed a family of 21 people, including women and children.

The bombings continued throughout the Gaza strip, targeting markets, mosques and other places where Palestinians were taking shelter.

Meanwhile, Israeli authorities said casualties from Saturday's surprise barrage of rockets and subsequent multi-front assault by Hamas had left at least 700 Israelis dead. Scores of Israelis remain missing, including many who Hamas took hostage.

Hamas said that air strikes by Israel in Gaza, which targeted civilian infrastructure such as apartment complexes and homes of people, led to the deaths of at least four hostages.

The siege, with directives to block the supply of basics such as food, water, electricity and gas, observers said, potentially constitute war crimes.

US support

Meanwhile, the United States has assured Israel of its full support as it mobilised a shipment of arms along with moving strategic military equipment such as warships and warplanes closer to Israel as a deterrence against escalation by other countries.

"The United States stands with Israel; we will not ever fail to have your back. We'll make sure you have the help you need," US President Joe Biden stated in a televised address in Washington.

"This is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks," Biden warned other regional actors.

Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary General Lloyd Austin said additional military assistance is being sent to Israel along with warships moved to the Eastern Mediterranean, near Israel, and warplanes.

The move, Austin said, was aimed at bolstering regional deterrence.

Observers said that the statements of Biden and Austin, while not naming any actor, were directed primarily at Iran and the Hezbollah in Lebanon, along with some other countries in the region.

On Saturday morning, a day after the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Hamas launched an unexpected barrage with some 5,000 rockets fired within an hour, following that up with a multi-front assault on Israel from Gaza, including by smashing through the fence erected around Gaza by Israel, over the fence using paragliders, and from the sea. 

Hamas attacked several Israeli military installations and engaged in street battles with Israeli police and other armed forces, taking scores of people, civilian and military, hostage.

A severe Israeli response followed with warplanes bombing the narrow belt.

The Hamas attack not only forced thousands of Israelis to flee, but some 20,000 Palestinians also left Gaza fearing retribution attacks.