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Israel pounds Gaza with fiercest air strikes, says border secured

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JERUSALEM: Israel said on Tuesday (Oct 10) it had reclaimed control of the Gaza border, pounding the enclave with the fiercest air strikes in the 75-year history of its conflict with the Palestinians despite a Hamas threat to execute a captive for each home hit.

Israel has vowed to take its “mighty revenge” since gunmen rampaged through its towns, leaving streets strewn with bodies in by far the deadliest attack in its history. It has called up hundreds of thousands of reservists and placed the Gaza Strip, crowded home to 2.3 million people, under a total siege.

Israeli media said the death toll from the Hamas attacks had climbed to 900 people, mostly civilians gunned down in their homes, on the streets or at a music festival, dwarfing the scale of any past attack by militants apart from 9/11. Scores of Israelis were taken to Gaza as hostages, with some paraded through the streets.

At least 770 Gazans have been killed in Israeli strikes, according to Gaza officials, while whole districts in Gaza have been flattened.

The United Nations said 180,000 Gazans had been made homeless, many huddling on streets or in schools. Smoke and flames rose into the morning sky, while bombardment of the roads often made it impossible for emergency crews to reach the scene of strikes.

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