A missile explodes in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on October 8, 2023. srael, reeling from the deadliest attack on its territory in half a century, formally declared war on Hamas Sunday as the conflict's death toll surged close to 1,000 after the Palestinian militant group launched a massive surprise assault from Gaza. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

In early October 2023, war broke out between Israel and Hamas, the militant Islamist group that has controlled Gaza since 2006. Hamas fighters fired rockets into Israel and stormed southern Israeli cities and towns across the border of the Gaza strip, killing and injuring hundreds of soldiers and civilians and taking dozens of hostages. The attack took Israel by surprise, though the state quickly mounted a deadly retaliatory operation. One day after the October 7 attack, the Israeli cabinet formally declared war against Hamas, followed by a directive from the defense minister to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to carry out a “complete siege” of Gaza.

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