Israel has called up some 300,000 reservists for its military, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson, Maj, Doron Spielman said Wednesday.
“There’s not a family that does not have somebody that’s been called up. Or unfortunately, since we’re such a small country, a family that does not have friends, or loved ones that are still missing,” Spielman told CNN.
The military mobilization in Israel, which has a population of 9.2 million people—roughly the same as the state of New Jersey—was on the “scale of a major country,” according to Spielman.
Israel officially declared war on Hamas on Sunday following the terrorist organization’s surprise, massive attack on Israel Saturday. On Monday evening Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a “complete seige” of Gaza, cutting off electricity, food, fuel and water in the territory.
Hamas, meanwhile, is holding as many as 150 people hostage in locations across Gaza, according to the Israeli ambassador to the United States. Hamas has threatened to execute a hostage every time an Israeli airstrike hits Gazans in their homes.
In an impassioned speech on Tuesday afternoon, President Biden affirmed that “the United States has Israel’s back” in the wake of what he called “sickening” atrocities by Hamas.
He called on Congress to to take urgent action to fund Israel’s national security requirements. On Monday he’d ordered the deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the eastern Mediterranean.
Israeli authorities said Wednesday that since Saturday’s attack, more than 1,200 people have died and 2,900 others have been injured in Israel, while Palestinian officials said at least 1,055 people have died and another 5,184 have been wounded in Gaza.