Hamas militants paraglide into Israel amid sudden attack
Videos on social media appeared to show armed troops from the Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ militant arm, moving through built-up areas firing weapons as Israeli residents were evacuated from their homes following air strikes.
In a statement posted on Telegram, Hamas called on ‘the resistance fighters in the West Bank’ as well as ‘our Arab and Islamic nations’ to join the battle.
In remarks reported by CNN, militant commander Deif said: ‘If you have a gun, get it out. This is the time to use it – get out with trucks, cars, axes. Today the best and most honorable history starts.’
‘Today the people are regaining their revolution,’ he added, in other statements reported by AP, as he called on Palestinians from east Jerusalem to northern Israel to ‘expel the occupiers and demolish the walls.’
In response, Israeli forces have vowed that Hamas will ‘face the consequences and responsibility for these events’.
It has begun began striking targets in Gaza in response, and deployed countermeasures to repel further air attacks – prompting further rocket launches from inside the blockaded territory.
In a filmed statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, following the attacks, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the incursion was a ‘murderous surprise attack’, adding: ‘We are at war, not an operation, not rounds, but at war.’
Mr Netanyahu said that security forces were ‘clearing villages’ of Palestinian militants, and that reservists have been called up to ‘fight back with might and scope’, vowing that Hamas would ‘pay a price’.
He added: ‘In the meantime, I call on all citizens of Israel to strictly obey the instructions of the army and the instructions of the Home Command. We are in a war and we will win it.’
The attacks have left civilians injured and dead, with 15 treated for injuries in the immediate aftermath of the first missile strikes.
Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance agency said a woman in her 60s was killed ‘due to a direct hit’, reports AFP. It later said at least 22 Israelis had been killed.
Elsewhere, a 20-year-old man was moderately injured by rocket shrapnel, it said. It has started emergency blood drives to treat the wounded.
Israel has declared a “state of readiness for war” after barrages of rockets were fired at Israel from the blockaded Gaza Strip
Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip carried out an unprecedented infiltration Saturday into southern Israel and fired thousands of rockets into the country as the ruling Hamas militant group announced the beginning of a new operation. In response, Israel has declared a “state of readiness for war”. The attack has so far killed at least one person and injured 16 others.
The outbreak of conflict follows months of surging violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with fatalities in the occupied West Bank hitting a scale not seen in years. Air raid sirens wailed across Israel’s south and central areas, with the Israeli army urging the public to stay near bomb shelters.
The elusive leader of Hamas’ military wing, Mohammed Deif, announced the beginning of what he called “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm.” “Enough is enough,” he said in the recorded message, as he called on Palestinians to join the fight. He said Hamas had fired over 5,000 rockets into Israel.
#WATCH | Gaza City: Gaza skyline after sirens warning of incoming rockets near Tel Aviv as the Islamist movement Hamas launched attack on Israel.
(Source: Reuters) pic.twitter.com/9vlIoc57nL
— ANI (@ANI) October 7, 2023