Early Saturday, rockets were launched from Gaza targeting various regions in Israel, as confirmed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Reports indicate that at least five individuals lost their lives due to the missile strikes.
The IDF released a statement detailing that Hamas, the militant group, orchestrated a multifaceted operation that combined rocket launches with terrorist infiltrations into Israeli regions.
Casualty reports from the town of Kuseife mention four deaths, while the Gderot vicinity reported one. Hospitals across Israel have indicated that the number of injured exceeds 100. Beersheba’s Soroka Hospital alone has been attending to 80 patients, with some in critical condition.
Israeli news outlets have reported missile impacts in both Ashkelon and Tel Aviv. Additionally, rocket warning sirens were activated in Jerusalem and Beersheba. Hamas, in a bold claim, stated that they launched approximately 5,000 rockets towards Israel in the initial 20 minutes of their assault.
In a subsequent message on X (previously known as Twitter), the IDF alerted the public about terrorists entering Israel from Gaza, urging residents to stay indoors. A video circulating online appears to show Palestinians in vehicles with audible gunfire. This footage is believed to have been recorded in the Israeli city of Sderot, adjacent to the Gaza border.
Another video seems to depict a confrontation between IDF soldiers and assailants on the streets of Sderot. The Times of Israel has reported multiple casualties in the city due to this intrusion.
Post the attack, the IDF announced its preparedness for a potential conflict. In their statement, they emphasized that Hamas would be held accountable for the unfolding events. Not long after, Israel confirmed that they were executing counterstrikes in Gaza.
In reaction to the assault, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant sanctioned the mobilization of reserve forces. The extent of this mobilization will be determined by the IDF’s requirements, as stated by his office.
Emerging reports from Israeli media suggest that a police station in Sderot was overtaken by Hamas militants. Unverified videos circulating online seem to depict IDF soldiers being ambushed and captured. Additionally, there are images and videos suggesting an Israeli tank engulfed in flames and Palestinians seizing a US-manufactured Humvee from the IDF.
Israel’s Channel 12 has also reported potential infiltrations by Hamas militants into the settlements of Beeri and Netiv HaAsara, with claims of hostages being taken.
Hamas military leader, Mohammad Deif, provided a statement attributing the attack to Israel’s actions at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, a site of immense religious significance in Islam and currently under Israeli security jurisdiction. Deif further accused Israel of causing the deaths and injuries of numerous Palestinians this year and rebuffed the nation’s refusal to engage in prisoner swaps with Hamas.
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