Palestinian militants on Saturday launched the biggest attack on Israel in years, sending fighters across the border from Gaza, seizing hostages and firing thousands of rockets in a sustained assault.
The Israeli Prime Minister said that his country is “in a state of war” with the army launching retaliatory strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza.
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In an attack that also surprised the Biden administration, Hamas launched a sustained barrage of thousands of rockets in a coordinated attack on land, sea and air, and its forces crossed the Gaza border.
Israel declared war on Hamas and said it launched retaliatory strikes against 17 military complexes and sites linked to the Hamas leadership in Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces are conducting house-to-house searches in the southern part of the country near Gaza, in an attempt to clear the area of Hamas militants.
About 300 Israelis, most of them civilians, were confirmed killed, and 1,590 others were injured. At least 232 Palestinians have been killed so far and more than 1,697 others have been injured.
The Israeli army said that Israeli soldiers and civilians were captured and transferred to Gaza. Armed men are also holding Israeli hostages in at least two Israeli towns.
Hamas says that these attacks are only the beginning, and that it is preparing for a long battle. Iran praised Palestinian militants for the attack.
Israel’s failure to anticipate the attack made the world wonder what went wrong.