Israel Announces State Of War After Hamas Attack, Over 200 Dead


Live: Israel Announces 'State Of War' After Hamas Terror Attack, Over 200 Dead

The armed wing of Palestinian group Hamas said it was behind the fire.

New Delhi:

Barrages of rockets were fired from the blockaded Gaza Strip on Saturday, killing 70 people in Israel and at least 198 in Gaza.

Sirens blared across the country’s south and central areas, with Israel authorities urging people to stay near bomb shelters.

The armed wing of the Palestinian terror group Hamas said it was behind the attack, claiming that it launched over 5,000 rockets at its neighbour.

“We decided to put an end to all the crimes of the occupation (Israel), their time for rampaging without being held accountable is over,” the group said.

“We announce Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and we fired, in the first strike of 20 minutes, more than 5,000 rockets.”

Here are the LIVE updates on the big story:

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Gunmen In Homes And Captives Kidnapped To Gaza Leave Israelis In Shock

Bloodied bodies in the streets, gunmen raiding door-to-door and news of captives taken to Gaza left Israelis terrified and in shock after the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack that was unprecedented in audacity and scale, reported news agency AFP.

A resident reported seeing multiple bodies and bullet-scarred vehicles in the southern Israeli town of Sderot where groups of Hamas gunmen were still fighting Israeli troops 12 hours after the attack was launched.

“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,” said Shlomi from Sderot.

As night fell, at least 100 were reported dead and more than 1,000 wounded, according to Israeli media, with fighting still raging in more than 20 locations around the Gaza strip.

“On Verge Of Great Victory”: Hamas Chief After Israel Terror Strike

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said Saturday the group was on the “verge of a great victory” after it launched a surprise attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip, reported news agency AFP.

“We are on the verge of a great victory and a clear conquest on the Gaza front,” Haniyeh said in a speech broadcast on Hamas-run Al-Aqsa television.

“Enough is enough, the cycle of intifadas (uprisings) and revolutions in the battle to liberate our (Palestinian) land and our prisoners languishing in occupation (Israeli) prisons must be completed.”

Germany Flags Risk Of “Major Regional Escalation” After Hamas Attack On Israel

A surprise attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas against Israel risks provoking a “major regional escalation”, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Saturday, adding that “other” actors in the Middle East could join the hostilities, reported news agency AFP.

“This terrorism by Hamas once again moves the region farther from peace,” Baerbock said in a statement.

She added that the violence showed “once again” that “only a political solution can permit Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and dignity”.

The German government is also “strongly advising” against travel to Israel or the Palestinian territories, she said, urging Germans in the region to register with the foreign ministry.

German flag carrier Lufthansa also said it was cutting flights to Israel following the wave of Palestinian attacks, a spokesman told AFP. 

UN Security Council To Meet Tomorrow On Middle East

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday on the violence in the Middle East, the body said in a statement issued after deadly attacks by Hamas militants on Israel, reported news agency AFP.

The council will convene Sunday at 3:00 pm local time (1900 GMT) to discuss “the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question,” according to a statement released Saturday.

Multi-Storey Buildings In Gaza Destroyed As Israel Hits Back

Israeli fighter jets struck three multi-storey buildings in Gaza Saturday, AFP journalists reported, sending clouds of dust into the sky as the towers of more than 10 floors each collapsed.

“The Hamas terrorist organisation deliberately places its military assets in the heart of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip,” the army said in a statement confirming the strike. 

“Prior to the strike, the IDF (army) provided advance warning to the occupants … and asked them to evacuate.”

“Soldiers, Civilians Kidnapped” By Hamas: Israel Army

Militants of Palestinian Islamist group Hamas kidnapped Israeli soldiers and civilians during their ground incursion from Gaza on Saturday, the army said, reported news agency AFP.

“There are kidnapped soldiers and civilians. I can’t give figures about them at the moment. It’s a war crime committed by Hamas and they will pay the price,” army spokesman Daniel Hagari told journalists.

Biden Warns Against “Any Other Party Hostile To Israel Seeking Advantage”
Joe Biden warns against “any other party hostile to Israel seeking advantage” after Hamas assault, reported news agency AFP.

At Least 198 Killed In Gaza In Conflict With Israel

At least 198 people were killed in Gaza on Saturday, the health ministry in the Palestinian enclave said, after Hamas militants fired a barrage of rockets into Israel which responded with air strikes, reported news agency AFP.

The ministry said up until 4:20 pm (1320 GMT) there were “198 martyrs and 1,610 wounded with different injuries” in the conflict.

Pentagon Vows Israel Will Have “What It Needs To Defend Itself”

The Pentagon on Saturday reaffirmed the United States’ “unwavering” commitment to Israel’s right to defend itself and vowed to make sure the key US ally had the means to do so, reported news agency AFP.

“Our commitment to Israel’s right to defend itself remains unwavering,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement, adding that his agency would work “to ensure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself and protect civilians from indiscriminate violence and terrorism.”

German Airline Lufthansa Cuts Flights To Israel: Spokesperson
Lufthansa has decided to stop flights to Israel which was hit by 5,000 rockets fired by Palestinian militant organisation Hamas this morning, the airlines spokesperson said, reported news agency AFP.

At Least 9 Killed In Gaza As Conflict Flares With Israel

At least nine people were killed in Gaza on Saturday, AFP journalists reported, after Hamas militants fired a barrage of rockets into Israel which responded with air strikes on the Palestinian enclave, reported news agency AFP.

An AFP journalist saw eight bodies at the morgue of Al-Shifa hospital, while another reporter witnessed the funeral of a ninth person killed in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.

UN Middle East Envoy Condemns “Heinous Attacks” On Israel, Urges Restraint

The United Nations envoy to the Middle East on Saturday “vehemently” condemned Hamas militants’ assault on Israel, saying the “heinous attacks” must stop immediately, reported news agency AFP.

“I vehemently condemn this morning’s multi-front assault against Israeli towns and cities,” Tor Wennesland said in a statement, urging “maximum restraint.”

“This is a dangerous precipice and I appeal to all to pull back from the brink,” Wennesland said.

40 Israelis Killed, Over 500 Injured After Hamas Fires 5,000 Rockets

At least 40 people have been killed in Israel during fighting with Palestinian militants on Saturday, the Magen David Adom emergency medical services said in a statement, reported news agency AFP.

“Since the morning hours, MDA teams provided medical care to hundreds of casualties, and pronounced 40 people dead,” it said, while the Israeli health ministry confirmed that at least 779 people had been injured and taken to hospitals.

US Condemns Attacks On Israel By Hamas “Terrorists”, Says Will “Stand Firmly” With Jerusalem

The United States on Saturday “unequivocally” condemned attacks by “Hamas terrorists” against Israel, the White House said in a statement, reported news agency AFP.

“The United States unequivocally condemns the unprovoked attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement, adding that “there is never any justification for terrorism.”

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has spoken to Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi and will remain in close contact with Israeli partners over the operation, according to the statement.

“We stand firmly with the Government and people of Israel and extend our condolences for the Israeli lives lost in these attacks,” Watson added.

India Sets Up Helpline For Citizens In Israel
The Ministry of External Affairs has set up a helpline for Indians in Israel to reach out on the phone and on email after Palestine’s Hamas launched a surprise rocket attack on its neighbour. Indians living in Israel can call on +97235226748 or send an email to cons1.telaviv@mea.gov.in for any kind of support.

Israel Has “Indisputable” Right To Defence, Says Ukraine’s Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whose country is fending off a Russian invasion, said Saturday that Israel had an “indisputable” right to defend itself following attacks from Palestinian militants, reported news agency AFP.

“Israel’s right to defence is indisputable,” Zelensky said on Telegram, adding “terror is always a crime, not just against one country or specific victims, but against humanity as a whole.”

Lebanon’s Hezbollah Hails Hamas For “Heroic Operation”

Lebanon’s powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah praised Hamas for its “heroic operation” after the Palestinian militant group launched an air, sea and land attack on Israel Saturday, reported news agency AFP.

Israel said it was at war with Hamas following the surprise dawn attack from the blockaded Gaza Strip that, according to medics, had so far killed at least 22 people on its territory.

“Hezbollah congratulates the resisting Palestinian people,” the Lebanese Shiite movement said in a statement, hailing Hamas and its armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, for the “large-scale, heroic operation”.

Russia Calls For “Immediate Ceasefire” In Gaza
Russia has called for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza after Israel declared a state of war today as thousands of rockets launched by militant organisation Hamas struck the country.

Adviser To Iran Supreme Leader Calls Hamas Attack On Israel “Proud” Operation

A senior adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed support for the surprise attack Hamas launched against Israel on Saturday, calling it a “proud operation”. 

“We support the proud operation of Al-Aqsa Flood,” Rahim Safavi said at a Tehran meeting held in of support Palestinian children. “We support this operation, and we are sure that the resistance front also supports this issue.”

“Deeply Shocked,” PM Modi Vows “Solidarity With Israel At This Difficult Hour”

“Deeply shocked by the news of terrorist attacks in Israel. Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour,” tweets Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Shocked”, “Unprecedented Attack”: World Leaders Back Israel’s “Right” To Defend Against Hamas
World leaders have called for end to hostilities and safe passage for civilians amid the “war” between Israel and Hamas, which started after the Palestine militant group launched thousands of rockets into Israel this morning.
Turkey President Erdogan Urges Israel, Palestinians ‘To Act Reasonably’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday urged Israel and Palestinians “to act reasonably” and avoid a further escalation.

“We invite all parties to act reasonably and to stay away from impulsive steps that raise tensions,” Erdogan, who strongly supports the Palestinian cause, said following attacks on Israel by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip.

Spain ‘Shocked By Indiscriminate Violence’ Of Attacks On Israel

Spain expressed shock over the “indiscriminate violence” of a barrage of rocket fire and attacks launched by Gaza militants against Israel early on Saturday. 

“We strongly condemn the extremely serious terrorist attacks from Gaza against Israel. We are shocked by this indiscriminate violence,” Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Video: Israel Strikes Hamas Targets In Gaza

UK PM RIshi Sunak “Shocked” By Israel Escalation

“Our Forces Are Now Fighting”: Israel Army Battling Gaza Militants

Israel’s army said it was fighting Gaza militants who entered Israel by land, sea and air using paragliders on Saturday, after a barrage of rockets was fired at Israel from the Palestinian enclave.

“It was a combined ground raid which happened through paragliders, through the sea and through the ground,” army spokesman Richard Hecht told reporters.

“Right now we’re fighting. We’re fighting in certain locations around the Gaza Strip… our forces are now fighting on the ground” in Israel, he added.

Hecht confirmed there are casualties but would not be drawn on details, nor discuss reports that multiple Israelis had been captured by Palestinian militants.

Russia Urges “Restraint” After Israel Attacks

Russia on Saturday urged restraint from all sides after Palestinian militants fired hunderds of rockets on Israel, which then launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

“We are now in contact with everyone. With the Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs,” Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told Russian private news agency Interfax, adding: “Of course, we always call for restraint.” 

Fighting Ongoing In “Certain Locations” Near Gaza: Israel

Israeli forces were fighting Palestinian militants on the ground in several locations around the Gaza Strip on Saturday, the army said, after barrages of rockets were fired from the enclave into Israeli territory.

“It was a combined ground raid which happened through paragliders, through the sea and through the ground,” army spokesman Richard Hecht told reporters.

“Right now we’re fighting. We’re fighting in certain locations around the Gaza Strip… our forces are now fighting on the ground.”

“We Are At War”: Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu

“Citizens of Israel, we are at war. This is not an operation, not an escalation – this is war. And we will win. Hamas will pay an unprecedented price,” Netanyahu said.

Israel Launches Strikes On Gaza

Israel’s army carried out at least two air strikes on the Gaza Strip Saturday, an AFP journalist reported, after barrages of rockets were fired from the Palestinian territory into Israel.

More than 5,000 rockets had been fired so far from the Gaza Strip, the armed wing of Hamas which controls the blockaded coastal enclave said. Medics said the rocket fire killed at least one Israeli, a woman in her 60s.

“Hamas Has Launched A War”: Israel Defence Minister

Palestinian militant group Hamas has launched a “war” against Israel, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said, after barrages of rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory on Saturday.

“Hamas has made a grave mistake this morning and launched a war against the State of Israel,” Gallant said in a statement.

“IDF troops (Israeli army) are fighting against the enemy at every location.”

Gazans Flee Homes From Areas Bordering Israel

Hundreds of residents in the Gaza Strip fled their homes to move away from the border with Israel after barrages of rockets were fired from the coastal enclave into Israel, an AFP correspondent reported.

Men, women and children were seen carrying blankets and food items as they left their homes, mostly in the northeastern part of the Palestinian territory, the reporter said.

Israel’s Blockade On Gaza

Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza since 2007 after Hamas took power.

Palestinian militants and Israel have fought several devastating wars since.

The latest fire follows a period of heightened tensions in September, when Israel closed the border to Gazan workers for two weeks.

The shutdown of the crossing came as Palestinian protest rocked the heavily militarised border.





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