Support for Ukraine, defense and containment of NATO, as well as the situation in the Middle East will be the central topics of the meeting of the heads of the defense ministries of the alliance countries, which will be held in Brussels on Thursday, said the organization’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“At our ministerial meeting, we discuss a wide range of issues: support for Ukraine, defense and deterrence, NATO missions and operations in Kosovo, Iraq. Today, the Israeli Defense Minister will also update us on the situation after the Hamas terrorist attack,” he said in a joint statement with Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin.
On the morning of October 7, Israel was subjected to an unprecedented rocket attack from the Gaza Strip. In addition, Hamas fighters, after massive rocket attacks, penetrated into the border areas in southern Israel. The military wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement announced Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel. The Israel Defense Forces announced the launch of Operation Iron Swords against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in an address to the nation, said that the country was in a state of war and said that he had ordered a widespread mobilization of reservists. On Tuesday, Haaretz, citing Israeli Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari, reported that the Israeli military had taken control of all settlements near the Gaza border. Currently, air strikes are being carried out on targets, including civilians, in the Gaza Strip. Amid the escalation of the conflict, a number of states began removing their citizens from Israel.
The death toll of Israeli residents as a result of the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has exceeded 1.2 thousand, the Times of Israel newspaper reports. According to the latest data from the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the death toll as a result of Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip has increased to approximately 1.2 thousand people. Four Russians are listed as dead in Israel, six are missing. Dozens of citizens of other countries have also disappeared; citizens of Austria, China, Mexico and France are being held hostage by Hamas.