Hamas is inflicting “ISIS level savagery” against Israeli civilians, a senior Pentagon official told reporters.
“I want to differentiate this from other times we have seen conflicts between Israel and Hamas in Gaza,” the official said during a Monday briefing. “This is ISIS level savagery that we have seen committed against Israeli civilians – houses burned to the ground, young people massacred at music festivals.”
The official spoke to journalists on the condition of anonymity.
“Planes have already taken off,” and the U.S. is “working as fast as possible to provide critically needed munitions of various types and other equipment,” the official said.
The comments came on the same say Hamas said it would execute an Israeli hostage and broadcast the killing online.
“Any targeting of any civilians without warning will be met with the execution of a civilian hostage in our custody,” the masked spokesman for Al-Qassam Brigades said in a message broadcast by Al Jazeera. “We will be forced to broadcast this execution. We regret this decision, but we hold [Israel] and its leadership responsible for this.”
Hamas captured a number of Israeli soldiers and civilians since Saturday, when terrorists attacked Israel without warning.
In previous airstrikes against Gaza, Israel had used the so-called “roof-knocking” technique – in which non-explosives are dropped onto a targeted civilian home – to warn civilians in residential towers to get out before their building was bombed.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the country was “at war,” and promised Hamas retaliation they “have never known before.”