'People are begging for their lives': Israeli civilians held captive in own homes by Hamas terrorists

As Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israel Saturday morning, reports of civilians being murdered, held hostage, and others hiding in fear for their lives at the hands of the invading forces who were indiscriminately killing anyone they saw. 

According to the New York Post, Israeli citizens in the south began pleading for help from Israeli Security Forces as militants moved in and began breaking into homes. "We are being slaughtered. There is no army. It has been 6 hours," one citizen said. 

One Tel Aviv resident Gaia said that her sister told her "militants entered her home," and she was "unable to reach her" since. She told me that she and my brother and father were hiding in the shelter." 

"She said the [militants] walked out after a few minutes, but I haven’t been able to reach my family since," Gaia added. 

A report from Reuters described the moments a music festival was attacked by gunmen. One attendee said, "The music stopped and there was a rocket siren," and "Suddenly out of nowhere, they started shooting."

Another attendee, Esther Borochov told the outlet that she was trying to flee and when they got into a man's car, the man was shot and she played dead. "I couldn't move my legs," she said. "Soldiers came and took us away to the bushes."

One man in the city of Sderot described the scene in the city as "loads of bodies" all over. He said, "I went out, I saw loads of bodies of terrorists, civilians, cars shot up. A sea of bodies, inside Sderot along the road, other places, loads of bodies,"

Videos from the invasion showing Israeli citizens being kidnapped and killed began to surface on social media not long after it started. Scenes from the music festival showed people running for their lives as gunshots rang out. 

Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai told the Post, "We know about civilians who are barricaded in all kinds of places." He continued, "We call on everyone to stay behind closed doors, we will reach everyone in the end. We are moving from one scene to another. There are quite a few terrorists who have been killed in the various scenes.”

According to Haaretz, over 250 Israelis were killed in the assault and 1,000 wounded, while Hamas is still holding civilians hostage in their homes. The attack coincides with the Jewish Sabbath and the Simchat Torah holiday. 

US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said in a statement, "I am outraged and horrified by the appalling unprovoked, brutal attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israel." She added, "The United States stands firmly with the Government and people of Israel – and unequivocally condemns Hamas’ violence against civilians." 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement, "Hamas started a cruel and evil war. We will win this war, but the price will be heavy." He continued, "What happened today will not be seen in Israel, and I will make sure that it does not happen again. The entire government stands behind this decision. The IDF will immediately use all its power to disable Hamas' capabilities. We will beat them to death, we will take revenge on them for the black day they have inflicted on the State of Israel and its citizens." 

Image: Title: Israel