At least 100 Israelis and 200 Palestinians were killed after Hamas militants launched a multi-front attack on Israel on Saturday. The attack involved firing thousands of rockets and infiltrating the heavily fortified border.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel was "at war" and called for a mass mobilization of army reserves. Hamas, a Palestinian political and military organization, governs the Gaza Strip and is known for its armed resistance to Israel. The conflict has resulted in ongoing hostilities between Hamas and Israel.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack by Hamas and urged "all diplomatic efforts to avoid a wider conflagration," UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
The United Nations Security Council is due to meet on Sunday to discuss the situation.
Kuwait expressed its "grave concern" over developments between Israel and the Palestinians, blaming Israel for what it called its "blatant attacks". The foreign ministry in a statement called on the international community to "stop the provocative practices by the occupation" and the "policy of expanding settlements".
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep shock over the news of terrorist attacks in Israel and said that India's thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims and their families. He also said that India stands in solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour.
The latest outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas is the most serious since the 2014 Gaza War. It is also the first time that Hamas has launched a major rocket attack on Israel since 2012.
The attack came after Israeli forces killed a senior Hamas commander in the West Bank on October 6. Hamas vowed revenge, and the two sides have been exchanging fire ever since.
The Israeli military says that the rocket attacks from Gaza are a threat to Israeli civilians and that it is responding to protect its citizens. Hamas says that it is responding to Israeli aggression.
The international community has called on both sides to cease fire and to engage in dialogue. However, there is no sign of a ceasefire at this time.
Impact of the conflict
The conflict between Israel and Hamas is having a devastating impact on the people of both sides. In Gaza, thousands of people have been displaced from their homes and access to essential services is limited. In Israel, the rocket attacks have caused widespread damage to property and infrastructure.
The conflict is also having a negative impact on the economies of both Israel and Gaza. Tourism has fallen sharply in both places and businesses are struggling to operate.
Prospects for peace
The prospects for peace between Israel and Hamas are bleak. The two sides have deep-seated mistrust for each other and there is no clear path to a negotiated settlement.
The international community can play a role in supporting efforts to achieve a ceasefire and to promote dialogue between the two sides. However, the ultimate responsibility for peace lies with the leaders of Israel and Hamas.