1,500 bodies of Hamas gunmen found as Israel says border is secured - with 'up to 150' hostages still in Gaza

10 October 2023, 09:46

Palestinians walk through rubble in Gaza City. Right, Israeli forces patrol areas along the Israeli-Gaza border
Palestinians walk through rubble in Gaza City. Right, Israeli forces patrol areas along the Israeli-Gaza border. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

The Israeli military has said it has found the bodies of 1,500 Hamas gunmen in Israel and around the Gaza Strip, three days after the group broke through borders to launch attacks on targets in Israel.

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Israel says its border with Gaza has now been secured and no armed attackers have crossed in the past day. More than 700 people have been killed by airstrikes in Gaza, according to Palestinian authorities.

'Up to 150' hostages are still being held in Gaza after being kidnapped from Israel. The hostages include families and children.

Hamas’ armed wing is threatening to start killing hostages if Israel bombs civilian targets in Gaza ‘without warning’.

Palestinians walk through rubble in Gaza City
Palestinians walk through rubble in Gaza City. Picture: Alamy

The UN children's agency Unicef is calling for a humanitarian corridor in and out of Gaza, as Israel has cut supplies of fuel, electricity, and water in a so-called ‘siege’ of the region in retaliation for the attacks.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has denied Iranian involvement in the deadly attacks launched by Hamas.

According to a translation by the Reuters news agency, he said: "We kiss the hands of those who planned the attack on the Zionist regime."

Israeli forces patrol areas along the Israeli-Gaza border
Israeli forces patrol areas along the Israeli-Gaza border. Picture: Alamy

Hamas' armed wing has said it will begin executing hostages and "posting footage online" if Israel bombs civilian houses in Gaza "without pre-warning".

Al-Qassam brigades, Hamas' armed wing, said hostages have been kept safe so far since their attack on the Middle Eastern country on Saturday.

But Hamas said it will "begin executing an Israeli civilian captive in return for any new Israeli bombing of civilians houses without pre-warning", while threatening to post the footage online.

Meanwhile, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country will use "enormous force" against Hamas, as he warned retaliation for Saturday's surprise attack on his county was "only just beginning".

It comes as the US President Joe Biden said it was "likely" that Americans were being kept by Hamas.

"The safety of American citizens—whether at home or abroad—is my top priority as President," he said.

"While we are still working to confirm, we believe it is likely that American citizens may be among those being held by Hamas."

So far, at least 11 American have confirmed to have died. Three Brits are also confirmed dead, though more than 10 are confirmed dead or missing.

Israel has vowed to retaliate with "enormous force" followed Saturday&squot;s attack by Hamas
Israel has vowed to retaliate with "enormous force" followed Saturday's attack by Hamas. Picture: Getty

Speaking on Monday evening, the UK, US, France, Germany, and Italy, put out a statement promising to send support to Israel.

In a joint statement, Rishi Sunak, US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni promised their "steadfast and united support to the State of Israel, and our unequivocal condemnation of Hamas and its appalling acts of terrorism".

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden. Picture: Getty

They said: "We make clear that the terrorist actions of Hamas have no justification, no legitimacy, and must be universally condemned. There is never any justification for terrorism.

"In recent days, the world has watched in horror as Hamas terrorists massacred families in their homes, slaughtered over 200 young people enjoying a music festival, and kidnapped elderly women, children, and entire families, who are now being held as hostages."

They warned that "this is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage".

The leaders said they recognised the "legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people", but "Hamas does not represent those aspirations, and it offers nothing for the Palestinian people other than more terror and bloodshed".

Read More: Palestine supporters set off fireworks outside Israeli embassy, as British Jews hold vigil for victims of Hamas attack

Read More: Israel’s Netanyahu says Gaza offensive has ‘only started’

So far, around 900 people have been killed in Israel since Saturday's attack, which includes the 260 concert-goers attending a music festival in the Middle Eastern country.

Meanwhile, in Gaza, the death toll has risen towards 700 since Israel began retaliating.

Earlier on Monday, Israel's defence minister ordered the "siege of Gaza", which resulted in food, fuel, electricity and water being cut off on the strip.

More than 10 British citizens are feared dead or missing, including Nathanel Young, 20, a British man who was serving in the Israeli army.

He was killed in the Hamas attack on Saturday, the Israeli Defence Force said.

Bernard Cowan, from Glasgow, was confirmed to have died by his family on Monday.

Aftermath of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza
Aftermath of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. Picture: Getty

Twenty-six-year-old Jake Marlowe, who went to the same London school as Mr Young, is also missing.

Meanwhile Danny Darlington, a British photographer who lived in Berlin, and his German girlfriend, Carolin Bohl, have not been heard from since they went to a bunker in Nir Or, a kibbutz in the south of Israel.

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