The dead toll from an unprecedented Hamas raid a day earlier surpassed 600 on Sunday, with the fate of over a hundred persons seized and carried to the Gaza Strip still unknown.
Saturday morning, Hamas gunmen stormed up to 22 locations in southern Israel, including villages and smaller communities as far as 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the Gaza border.
In some locations, they roamed for hours, gunning down civilians and soldiers as Israel’s military scrambled to muster a response. Simultaneously, thousands of rockets were launched at cities in the center and south.
At least three communities near the Gaza border that were overrun by Hamas gunmen the previous day remained in conflict on Sunday, and rocket fire continued to plague Israeli communities as Israel prepared for what was anticipated to be a protracted campaign against the Gaza-based terrorist organization.
According to the Ministry of Health, the total number of wounded in hospitals has reached 2,156, with 20 in critical condition and 338 in severe condition.
After overrunning several military bases and communities, Hamas gunmen captured an undetermined number of civilians and soldiers in Gaza, in addition to those slain and wounded.
Sunday, the Government Press Office, an arm of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, posted on Facebook that the number of detainees in Gaza exceeded 100.
Small children, the elderly, and foreign nationals, including 11 Thais laboring on farms near the border, were among those abducted.
Antony Blinken, the secretary of state of the United States, stated that the State Department was attempting to substantiate reports of Americans being killed or kidnapped.