The Israel Defense Forces confirmed early Wednesday that 1,200 Israelis have died since Hamas began its attack on Saturday. The IDF said the majority of those dead were civilians.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian-run Gaza Ministry of Health said that 1,055 Palestinians have died since the start of the escalation.
Speaking to a gathering of Jewish leaders at the White House Wednesday, President Joe Biden called the weekend attack by Hamas the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust.
"This attack was a campaign of pure cruelty — not just hate, but pure cruelty — against the Jewish people," Biden said.
On Wednesday the U.S. State Department confirmed that 22 Americans have been killed during the fighting, and 17 more remain unaccounted for.
Israel says that Hamas has taken 150 Israelis hostage since the weekend.
Israel has responded to Hamas' attack by conducting a "complete siege" on the Gaza Strip. The Israel Defense Forces has called up 300,000 reserves. Israeli fighters could soon be ready to execute a ground mission in Gaza. So far, the Israeli military has been conducting air raids.
On Wednesday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a new unity government in Israel while it prosecutes the war. Former Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz and current Defense Minister Yoav Gallant are part of the wartime cabinet.
"[Troops] are now close to the Gaza Strip getting ready to execute the mission they have been given — we have been given — by the Israeli government to make sure that Hamas, at the end of this war, won't have any military capabilities by which they can threaten or kill Israeli civilians," IDF spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said.
Conricus said Israel has been going after Hamas targets "with great power and severity."
The Gaza Ministry of Health said all hospital beds have been exhausted and it is running out of medical resources to treat the wounded.
On Tuesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, urged both Israel and Hamas to follow international laws.
“International humanitarian law is clear: the obligation to take constant care to spare the civilian population and civilian objects remains applicable throughout the attacks,” Türk said.
Conricus countered that Hamas places its military assets in civilian buildings. Conricus said that places with both civilians and Hamas assets are legitimate military targets.
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