Hamas strikes Negev desert festival, 1,300 dead in total in Israel and Gaza after attack

At least 260 killed at music event in Israel

At least 260 people have died in Israel during the Supernova music festival, Israeli media report, citing local rescue agency Zaka.

About 3,000 people attended the event, targeted by Hamas as part of a huge surprise attack on Israel, the BBC reported. The festival took place in the Negev desert, near the kibbutz of Re'im - not far from the Gaza Strip.

Fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas continued into the night. In total, more than 1,300 people were killed on both sides following a massive Hamas attack that began early on Saturday. 36 hours after the latest hostilities began, rockets are still being fired from Gaza into southern Israel.

According to the United Nations, Israel's retaliatory air strikes have displaced 123,000 Palestinians in Gaza and nearly 74,000 have sought shelter in schools. Gaza's hospitals are crowded and struggling with power outages. 

The UN says Gaza's last source of power - its only power plant - could run out within days.

Several other countries said their citizens had been killed or kidnapped by Hamas. The US moved its aircraft carrier closer to Israel and said it would send more weapons, a move Hamas condemned as "aggression".

US officials expect Israel to launch a ground incursion into Gaza in the next 48 hours.

Meanwhile, oil prices also spiked on Monday on fears that recent events could disrupt production in the Middle East.

US fears are that the conflict between Israel and Hamas could draw in other parts of the region. They are sending an aircraft carrier with warplanes accompanied by cruisers and also additional military aid such as ammunition.

In particular, they want to prevent the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah movement from joining the fight. It is supported by Iran, which also funds and arms Hamas. There are reports that Iran helped orchestrate the unprecedented attack, although Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has said that the US has seen no evidence to confirm this.

He suggested, however, that Hamas may have attempted to derail the emerging diplomatic agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia that is at the heart of President Biden's Middle East policy.

Some Hamas leaders said Israel's agreements to normalize relations with Arab states were among the factors that led to the attack - that there would be no peace if Palestinians were excluded from the equation.

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