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Israel stops electricity supply to Gaza – Energy Minister



A building is ablaze following rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip in Tel Aviv Israel October 7 2023. REUTERS Itai Ron

Israel ordered its state-run electricity company to halt supply to the Gaza Strip on Saturday after Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, the energy minister said.

“I have signed an order instructing (Israel) Electric Company to stop the electricity supply to Gaza,” Energy Minister Israel Katz said in a statement.

Hamas has released images of several Israelis taken captive, and Israel army spokesman Daniel Hagari confirmed that “there are kidnapped soldiers and civilians. I can’t give figures about them at the moment. It’s a war crime committed by Hamas and they will pay the price.”

The Islamist group started the attack around 6:30 am (0330 GMT) with thousands of rockets aimed as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, some bypassing the Iron Dome defence system and hitting buildings.

Hamas fighters — travelling in vehicles, boats and even using motorised paragliders — breached Gaza’s security barrier and attacked nearby Israeli towns and military posts, opening fire on residents and passersby.

Israeli army Major General Ghasan Alyan warned Hamas had “opened the gates of hell”.

The army said its forces were engaged in live gun battles in several locations near the Gaza Strip, in an operation labelled “Swords of Iron”.

An AFP journalist in Gaza saw smoke billowing from the remains of a residential tower following Israeli strikes, which Gaza’s interior ministry said contained 100 apartments and was completely destroyed.

Israel’s military said it had warned residents to evacuate before targeting two multistorey buildings used by Hamas.

The aid group Doctors without Borders said one strike had hit the enclave’s Indonesian hospital and an ambulance outside Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza, causing multiple deaths.

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