Israel ‘at war’ as Hamas unleashes surprise attack from Gaza

Israel ‘at war’ as Hamas unleashes surprise attack from Gaza

Hamas launched a major attack on Israel, combining gunmen crossing into Israel with rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. The attack resulted in dozens of casualties and hostages. Israel responded by confirming fighting with militants and vowing to retaliate. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel is in a war and will win it. Reports indicated that at least 100 Israelis were killed, with bodies seen in the streets of Sderot. The Israeli military carried out airstrikes in Gaza and navy forces killed Palestinian militants attempting to infiltrate Israel by sea. Hamas claimed to be holding Israeli captives, including senior officials. The military confirmed the captivity of Israelis and the deaths of soldiers. Gaza health officials reported numerous Palestinian casualties from airstrikes. Hamas attributed the attack to Israel’s escalated attacks on Palestinians. Hamas military commander Mohammad Deif called on Palestinians to fight, advocating for Israel’s destruction.

The attack involved Hamas gunmen infiltrating Israel from the Gaza Strip, marking an unprecedented event. It was the most significant blow for Israel since the suicide bombings of the Second Intifada. Israel and Hamas had previously engaged in a 10-day war in 2021. The attack occurred on the 50th anniversary of the 1973 war. The Islamic Jihad group joined the attacks and claimed to be holding Israeli soldiers captive. Gunbattles between Palestinian fighters and security forces were reported in southern Israeli towns. People in Gaza prepared for days of conflict, with some evacuating their homes. The United Nations and Western capitals condemned the attacks.

The White House condemned the attacks and stated that there is no justification for terrorism. A woman from a kibbutz near Gaza pleaded for help as militants infiltrated her house. Israeli Defence Minister Gallant confirmed that troops were fighting against the enemy and authorized the call-up of reservists. Social media footage showed clashes and gunmen in jeeps. Palestinians in Gaza feared Israel’s response. The escalation occurred amidst surging violence between Israel and Palestinian militants in the West Bank. It also coincided with political upheaval in Israel and efforts to normalize ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia called for an immediate cessation of violence, and Hezbollah and Iran praised the attack.

The article was written by a senior correspondent with extensive experience covering the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Thomson RushHourDaily Trust Principles were followed.

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