Israel at war after Hamas launches surprise attack

Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel overnight, killing and and wounding hundreds. The attack so gunman cross into Israel along with an intensive rocket assault. Hamas, Israel said, has declared war on the nation. This marks the largest attack since the Second Intifada over 20 years ago.

In one of the most serious escalations in years between Israel and the militant group that rules Gaza, Hamas gunmen crossed the border fence at several places and infiltrated Israeli communities. "Explosions were heard by residents across these areas and direct hits on buildings were reported in Ashkelon, the Gederot region and Tel Aviv," The Times of Israel reports.

Gunmen infiltrated Sderot, they said, and the nation has seen more than 40 people killed, nearly 800 wounded. Reserves have been called up by the IDF. 2,200 rockets were fired acros the country, including at the cities of Tel Aviv, Dimona, J’lem.

Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said more than 2,200 rockets fired into Israel since 6:30 a.m and attacks were bloody, without notice and from all entry points.

After planned bloody attack from air, land and sea from terrorist group Hamas, Israel's President Netanyahu said "Our enemy will pay a price the type of which it has never know. We are in a war and we will win it." 

Israel announced an emergency official state of war and has begun to retaliate—but only after hours of attack from Islamic terrorist group Hamas.

Unconfirmed report from Palestinian media that an armed militants targeted an unknown Israeli aircraft with a Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) during the initial stage of the conflict in southern Israel. These are "are surface-to-air missiles that can be carried and fired by a single individual or carried by several individuals and fired by more than one person acting as a crew."

Israel’s defense minister announced that the Hamas militant group has started a war against Israel and pledged that “Israel will win.”

Following an emergency security cabinet meeting at the Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned that Hamas “made a grave mistake” in launching barrages of rockets into southern and central Israel in its surprise morning attack.

Yoav Gallant, The Minister of Defense of Israel posted this clear message "The Hamas terrorist organization made a grave mistake this morning and launched a war against the State of Israel. IDF troops are fighting the enemy at every location. I call on all of Israel’s citizens to follow security instructions."

"The State of Israel will win this war."

In one of the most serious escalations in years between Israel and the militant group that rules Gaza, Hamas gunmen crossed the border fence at several places and infiltrated Israeli communities.

Daniel Hagari, Israeli army spokesman, said more than 2,200 rockets had been fired into Israel since 6:30 am. All bomb shelters have been in use

Hagari added that Hamas members infiltrated from land, sea and air.

The head of the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, Ofir Liebstein, was killed during fighting with Hamas terrorists this morning, local authorities say. “Ofir was killed when he went to defend a town during the terrorist attack,” the council says. The deputy head of the council, Yossi Keren, is currently filling his place.

The Israel Defense Forces says they have begun to fight back with dozens of fighter jets carrying out strikes against sites belonging to the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip.

The IDF struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip. "In response to the barrages of rockets launched by Hamas from Gaza at Israel, the IDF is currently striking Hamas targets in Gaza," they reported.

A joint statement from Knesset opposition party heads gave full backing to the IDF and called on the international community to condemn the acts of terror.

Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid, National Unity head Benny Gantz, Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Lieberman and Labor party head Merav Michaeli said, “In days like these there is no opposition and no coalition in Israel.”

We “are united in the face of terrorism” and the need to strike with “a strong and determined fist," the statement read, calling for retribution against Hamas and all terrorist organizations that cooperate with it.

“It is necessary to mobilize the international community against terrorism,” the statement continues, ending with strong support for the citizens of Israel, active and reserve IDF soldiers and all security and emergency forces.

“We call on the citizens — obey the directives of the Home Front Command, take care of yourselves and together we will overcome terrorism,” the heads said.

The Israel Defense Forces said it has launched operation “Swords of Iron” in response to Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel.

As of this morning, there were at least seven sites of fighting between Hamas terrorists and IDF troops. The military expects to draft tens of thousands of soldiers.

Videos emerging on social media show brutality in the streets.

So far, global leaders have voiced a unanimous condemnation of this action.

Switzerland has come forward condemning the attacks on Israel, saying "Switzerland condemns the indiscriminate firing of rockets and attacks from #Gaza into #Israel. We call for an immediate end to the violence and for the protection of civilians."

President of the European Council Charles Michel said the “EU stands in solidarity with Israeli people in this horrific moment."

"Strongly condemn the indiscriminate attacks launched against Israel and its people this morning inflicting terror and violence against innocent citizens. My thoughts are with all the victims," he said.

Greece, Denmark, Norway, Romania, Germany, and the UN have come forward condemning the violent attacks

A White House statement came from NSC spokesperson Adrienne Watson, reading: 

"The United States unequivocally condemns the unprovoked attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians. There is never any justification for terrorism. We stand firmly with the Government and people of Israel and extend our condolences for the Israeli lives lost in these attacks.  National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has spoken to Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi and we remain in close contact with our Israeli partners."

The Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Herzog, calls “the free world to unequivocally condemn” the attacks by Hamas and support Israel’s “right to self-defense."

“This offensive was launched while Israelis were celebrating a religious Jewish holiday.”

The Islamist militant group Hamas carried out an unprecedented infiltration Saturday into southern Israel, sending fighters across the border and firing thousands of rockets into the country as the ruling Hamas militant group announced the beginning of the new operation.

The Israeli military put the country on war alert and began striking targets in Gaza in response, setting the stage for what was likely to be a new heavy round of fighting between the bitter enemies. 

Hamas initiated the war with Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and tensions between Israel and Hamas have further escalated, with Hamas firing rockets towards the city of Tel Aviv. The elusive leader of Hamas’ military wing, Mohammed Deif, announced the beginning of what he called “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm.”

“Today the people are regaining their revolution,” he said in the recorded message, as he called on Palestinians from east Jerusalem to northern Israel to join the fight and “expel the occupiers and demolish the walls.”

“We must set the earth on fire under the feet of the occupiers,” he said, claiming that Hamas had fired over 5,000 rockets into Israel.

In a serious escalation, salvos of rockets fired from Gaza set off constant air raid sirens as far north as Jerusalem. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement to Israeli citizens addressing the devestating state of war that many found themselves waking up to this morning:

"Citizens of Israel, we are at war, not in an operation or in rounds, but at war. This morning, Hamas launched a murderous surprise attack against the State of Israel and its citizens. We have been in this since the early morning hours. I convened the heads of the security establishment and ordered – first of all – to clear out the communities that have been infiltrated by terrorists. This is currently being carried out. At the same time, I have ordered an extensive mobilization of reserves and that we return fire of a magnitude that the enemy has not known. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price. In the meantime, I call on the citizens of Israel to strictly adhere to the directives of the IDF and Home Front Command. We are at war and we will win it."

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