Israeli commander among 500 dead in conflict with Hamas

An Israeli commander is among the 500 people killed, the country’s military has confirmed.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Steinberg was killed in an “encounter with a terrorist”, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said.

“It was allowed to be published that the commander of the Nahal Brigade, the late Lt Col Jonathan Steinberg, was killed today in an encounter with a terrorist near Kerem Shalom,” a spokesman said.

The 42-year-old, who was the commander of the Nahal Brigade, was on his way to “an exchange of fire” being conducted by his troops at the time he was killed, the statement continued.

“The IDF shares in the family’s grief and will continue to accompany it,” the IDF say.

He is among the 500 people killed in Saturday’s fighting so far. Local media have reported that 300 Israelis have died in the surprise attacks by Hamas on Saturday morning, citing health officials.

Palestinian officials say at least 232 Palestinians have been killed and 1,700 have been injured by Israeli air strikes in Gaza carried out in retaliation.

Israels health ministry added that the number injured in the Hamas attacks has risen from 1,452 to 1,590.


The assault began early on Saturday, when Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip stormed into southern Israel by land, air, and sea, appearing to catch the famed Israeli security apparatus by suprise.

Thousands of rockets from Gaza have been fired into civilian areas in Israel.

In response, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel is “at war.”

“Our enemy will pay a price the type of which it has never known,” he said. “We are in a war and we will win it.”

Hamas claims it has captured dozens of Israelis, including soldiers. Israel’s military has also acknowledged hostages were taken.

After nightfall, airstrikes intensified, flattening several residential buildings in giant explosions, including a 14-story tower that held dozens of apartments as well as Hamas offices in central Gaza City.

The UN peacekeeping force has been deployed along the Lebanon-Israel border to “maintain stability and help avoid escalation” as the US, UK and Ukraine are among the states supporting Israel.

Firefighters work to put out a fire in an open field, following a mass-infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip in southern Israel


Speaking at a live address today, US President Joe Biden said: “In the face of these terrorist assaults, Israel has the right to defend itself and his people, full stop.”

He added: “There’s never justification for terrorist attacks and my administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.”

Iran’s foreign ministry says attacks by its ally Hamas on Israel on Saturday were an act of self-defence by Palestinians, and called on Muslim countries to support their rights.

The death toll currently stands at 532 and is expected to rise as fighting continues through the night.

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