„We are at war!” – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Saturday after the Hamas terrorist organisation launched a surprise attack on Israeli settlements near the Gaza Strip border. Israel responded with retaliatory strikes and formally declared war.
According to the latest report from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), more than three thousand rockets have been fired into Israel from Gaza. The Israeli death toll has exceeded 700, with 2,150 wounded. The Islamic Jihad has also supported Hamas in the large-scale attack. Both organisations are listed as terrorist organisations by several countries. The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports that more than 130 civilians and Israeli soldiers are being held hostage in Gaza. According to the UN, 123,000 Palestinians have left Gaza, and nearly 74,000 have sought refuge in schools as a result of the Israeli response. According to Gaza reports, the Israeli counter-attack has claimed 400 lives.
Deborah Lipstadt, the US envoy against antisemitism, said this was „the most lethal assault against Jews since the Holocaust”. Lipstadt added that there was „no justification” for the „heinous, barbaric terrorism against Israeli civilians” and mass murder.
„No one has the right to tell Israel how to defend itself and prevent and deter future attacks,” Lipstadt said, according to Ha’aretz.
The BBC reports that US officials expect Israel to launch a major ground offensive in the Gaza Strip in the next 48 hours. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu posted on his social media page that the IDF is making every effort to destroy the Hamas military wing.
By Monday morning, the death toll at the Supernova Israeli music festival had risen to 260, according to the local rescue agency Zaka. Some three thousand people were attending the event in the Negev desert when Hamas struck the festival.
Israel was only the first target, warned the leader of the Hamas radical Palestinian movement. Mahmoud al-Zahar said, „The entire planet will be under our law; there will be no more Jews or Christian traitors. No more murders and crimes like those committed against Palestinians and Arabs in all Arab countries, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and other countries.”
This Hamas Commander says this is not about land, not just Palestine. "The entire planet will be under our law, there will be no more Jews or Christian traitors." Only then, if everyone adopts his law, will there be peace. pic.twitter.com/97sWBcH8yJ
— CSW Latinoamérica (@CSWLatAm) October 8, 2023
According to the IDF, Israel struck more than 500 targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday night. According to an IDF spokesperson, fighting is still ongoing in 7-8 locations near the Strip, four divisions have been deployed to the south of the country, and the restoration of security is taking longer than planned. He noted that some Hamas gunmen are still able to enter Israel.
The Israeli navy announced the capture of Ali Rali, head of Hamas’ naval unit.
According to public radio, the gaps in the border fence had not been closed by Monday morning, and the Islamists fighting in Israeli territory continued to receive supplies through these openings.
Radio reports claim that some 800 to 1,000 Palestinian gunmen breached the border in eighty places simultaneously on Saturday morning after blowing up the CCTV system. According to the army’s morning statement, the fiercest fighting is taking place in the Beri kibbutz, where seventy terrorists have entered the settlement and barricaded themselves with hostages.
In addition, there are clashes in the Nirim, Nahal Oz and Nir Oz kibbutz, where terrorists have been advancing house by house, destroying and burning buildings, killing many civilians and dragging away many others.
The IDF is currently working to dismantle armed terrorist groups in Israeli territory and fully restore the Gaza Strip border fence.
On Saturday, President Katalin Novák and the Hungarian government condemned the terrorist attack against Israel. In a post on X, the head of state wrote: „Hungary reaffirms its unwavering support for Israel”.
Translated from tev.hu
Photo credit: Yousef Masoud/AP, Ashraf Amra/Reuters