Gaza war tensions spike after deadly Iran blasts, Lebanon killing


The bloodiest-ever Gaza war started after the Hamas attack on Israel resulted in the death of around 1,140 people, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

Militants took around 250 hostages back to Hamas-ruled Gaza, 129 of whom remain in captivity, according to Israel.

In response to the deadliest attack in its history, Israel vowed to destroy Hamas, launching a relentless bombardment and ground invasion that has reduced swathes of Gaza to rubble and claimed at least 22,313 lives, according to the territory’s health ministry.

The United Nations estimates 1.9 million Gazans are displaced, and the World Health Organization has warned of the risk of famine and disease, with only a minimal amount of aid entering.

After Tuesday’s killing of Aruri, Lebanon’s Iran-backed armed group Hezbollah blamed its foe Israel for the strike in its Shiite Muslim stronghold of southern Beirut.

Although Israel did not claim the assassination, Hamas and Lebanese security sources accused it of killing Aruri, 57, a founder of the Hamas military wing.  

Hezbollah vowed the killing of Aruri and six other Hamas operatives would not go unpunished, labelling it “a serious assault on Lebanon… and a dangerous development”.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel against all-out war on the country to its north. But in a televised speech he also said Israel has sent “messages” that it was “settling scores” with Hamas leaders and did not intend to target Lebanon or Hezbollah.

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