Southern Israel experienced rocket barrages in an operation claimed by Hamas, prompting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare that the country is “at war.” The attack, launched from the Gaza Strip, saw militants infiltrating southern Israel. Hamas’ senior military commander, Mohammad Deif, announced the operation, urging Palestinians to attack Israelis and stating it as the “greatest battle to end the last occupation on earth,” claiming the launch of 5,000 rockets.
Israel Declares War: Condemnation, Clashes, and Casualties
As a result of the widespread assault, Israel’s national rescue service reported at least 40 fatalities and 561 wounded, with 77 in critical condition. Prime Minister Netanyahu emphasized the severity of the situation, stating, “Citizens of Israel, we are at war — not in an operation, not in rounds — at war.”
The Israeli military confirmed terrorists infiltrating Israeli territory and called on residents in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip to stay indoors. Hospitals treated numerous casualties, including civilians, and the military vowed to defend Israeli civilians with the expectation that Hamas would face consequences for its actions.
Rocket launches were audible in Gaza, with residents reporting armed clashes along the separation fence with Israel. The U.S. National Security Council and European leaders unequivocally condemned the attacks, expressing solidarity with Israel. The European Union’s executive commission head, Ursula von der Leyen, called the attack “terrorism in its most despicable form” and affirmed Israel’s right to self-defense.Read:Loudoun County: $30M Lawsuit Over Sexual Assault Negligence
German Chancellor Olaf Sholz and French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the attacks, with Sholz expressing deep shock and Macron offering full solidarity with the victims. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak supported Israel’s right to defend itself. Dozens of IDF fighter jets targeted Hamas in the Gaza Strip.Read:Iranian Women’s Resilience: Beyond Compulsory Hijab
In response to the situation, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared a “special security situation” in the homefront, providing safety instructions and closing relevant sites within a 0-80 km radius from the Gaza Strip. The conflict, anticipated to last several days, marks a renewed and intensified phase in the historical tension between Israel and Gaza.