Israel came under a surprise attack by Hamas, which combined gunmen breaching borders with a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza. The attack killed at least 300 Israelis, while at least 230 Palestinians died in reprisal strikes by the Israeli military
Here is how the Hamas attack on Israel unfolded:
At 6.30 am, Hamas fired nearly 5,000 rockets at Israel from the Gaza strip, forcing the country to sound alerts. Smoke billowed over residential Israeli areas and people sheltered behind buildings as sirens sounded overhead.
The terrorists – travelling in vehicles, boats and motorised paragliders – also breached the security barriers using the rocket barrage as cover and attacked nearby Israeli towns and military posts, opening fire on civilians. Several videos on social media showed Hamas fighters in Israel border towns shooting at residents and passesby.
Videos issued by Hamas showed fighters breaching the security fences, with the dim light and low sun suggesting it was at around the time of the rocket barrage. A photograph also shows Hamas tearing down a section of the security fence
Israel launched retaliatory airstrikes, sending Gaza’s already crumbling medical infrastructure into chaos.
At 10 am, Israel army that Palestinian fighters had penetrated at least three military installations – the Erez border crossing, the Zikim base and the Gaza division headquarters at Reim.
The gun battles raged into the night and at least 500 people have died – 300 Israelis and 230 Palestineans in the Gaza region. At least 3,000 people have been injured.
Israeli media has reported that Hamas have also taken hostages, including soldiers and residents from towns that they attacked.
“We are at war,” Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an address to the stunned-nation. “I’m telling the people of Gaza: get out of there now, because we’re about to act everywhere with all our force We’ll strike them to the bitter end and avenge with force this black day they brought on Israel and its people,” he said.
Israel has said that the counter-terror ops are still on and it will be a long and difficult war. The country has also suspended the supply of electricity, fuel and other goods to Gaza.
The Hamas attack came 50 years and a day after Egyptian and Syrian forces launched an assault during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur in an effort to retrieve territory Israel had taken during a brief conflict in 1967.
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