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Israel at war after Hamas launches land, sea and air invasion from the Gaza Strip

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Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel, firing thousands of rockets as dozens of fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border in several locations by air, land, and sea and catching the country off-guard on a major holiday. Photo: Tsafrir Abayov/Associated Presss

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country was at war with Hamas after the Iran-backed terror group launched a “9/11 level event” in by far the deadliest day of violence in Israel since the Yom Kippur war 50 years ago.

Islamic Jihadists used the Sabbath to launch the all-out assault with motorised paragliders, speed boats, bulldozers and motorbikes to surprise Israeli positions while 5,000 rockets overwhelmed the Iron Dome defence system.

Israel vowed revenge on Hamas for opening the “gates of hell” into the Gaza Strip, with reports of hundreds of deaths and Jewish hostages being dragged into the Palestinian territory.

More than 230 Gazans were also killed when Israel responded with retaliatory strikes.

In a video address, Israel’s Prime Minister said Hamas would be held responsible for the well-being of the captives.

“We will take mighty vengeance for this black day,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“Hamas launched a cruel and wicked war. We will win this war but the price is too heavy to bear,” he said. “Hamas wants to murder us all. This is an enemy that murders mothers and children in their homes, in their beds. An enemy that abducts elderly, children, teenage girls.”

Israeli citizens pleaded for help as gunmen swept across as many as 22 locations as far as 24 kilometres from the Gaza border on the Jewish holiday when much of the country was disconnected from mass communication while in prayer.

Bodies of Israeli civilians were strewn across the streets of Sderot in southern Israel, Reuters reported.

“I went out, I saw loads of bodies of terrorists, civilians, cars shot up. A sea of bodies, inside Sderot along the road, other places, loads of bodies,” Shlomi from Sderot told Reuters.

US President Joe Biden said on Sunday that US support for Israel was “rock solid and unwavering” the large-scale surprise attack by Hamas.

“The United States stands with Israel. We will not ever fail to have their back,” Mr Biden said in a televised statement at the White House, flanked by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The US President discouraged other parties hostile to Israel from exploiting these attacks. “The world is watching,” he warned.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Israel had the nation’s support. “Australia stands with our friend Israel in this time,” he said in a statement.

“We condemn the indiscriminate and abhorrent attacks by Hamas on Israel, its cities and civilians. We recognise Israel’s right to defend itself.”

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Monday at 6am (AEDT) to address the situation in the Middle East.

At least 40 Israelis were confirmed dead, Israeli authorities said, and at least 545 people were injured, according to reports from Israeli hospitals.

At least 270 Palestinians have been killed so far and more than 1,000 injured, according to Palestinian medical authorities.

Videos online show troops being mobilised, fighter jets unleashing hellfire, and navy ships destroying speedboats attempting an amphibious landing.

“We’re looking at truly a 9/11 level event,” said James Stavridis, a former NATO high-ranking leader.

Palestinians in Gaza were seen celebrating alongside what were said to be Israeli army vehicles on Saturday (October 7).

World leaders condemned the attack that Hamas’s military commander in Gaza, Mohammad Deif, said was just the first phase of “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, launched to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

It comes months after Mr Biden released US$6 billion in frozen assets to Hamas’s main benefactor, Iran, leading to outrage over both the funding of the attack and what experts are calling an “embarrassing intelligence failure” is Israel’s security state.

Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a large-scale surprise attack against Israel Saturday, firing thousands of rockets from Gaza and sending ground units to…

The Islamist group started the attack around 6.30am on Saturday local time (2.30pm Saturday AEDT) with thousands of rockets aimed as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, some bypassing the Iron Dome defence system and hitting buildings.

“Send help, please!” one Israeli woman sheltering with her two-year-old child pleaded as militants outside opened fire at her house and tried to break into their safe room, Israeli media reported.

As night fell, Israel had ordered its state-run electricity company to stop the power supply to Gaza, said Energy Minister Israel Katz.

The escalation follows months of rising violence, mostly in the occupied West Bank, and tensions around Gaza’s border and at contested holy sites in Jerusalem.

The Israeli military says that fighting is continuing in 22 locations in southern Israel 12 hours after Hamas militants carried out a surprise infiltration into the area. In a…

Some regional leaders urged restraint after Saturday’s deadly Hamas attack targeting Israel and the retaliation that followed, but others blamed Israel itself and some celebrated the surprise assault.

Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned “against the danger of the situation deteriorating and sliding into more violence”.

A senior adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced support, calling it a “proud operation”, while Britain’s foreign minister James Cleverly condemned the attacks.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a public statement saying: “Citizens of Israel, we are at war. And we will win.

Mr Netanyahu said he instructed the military to clear Israeli villages of Hamas militants who had crossed into Israel.

“I instructed a wide-scale call for reserves to respond militarily at an intensity and scale that the enemy has not known before. The enemy will pay a price they have never paid before.”

Smoke rises over Gaza City during Israeli air strike. Palestinian militants have begun a “war” against

Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin issued a statement saying it condemned the unprovoked attack from the air and on the ground on sovereign Israeli territory by Hamas terrorists.

“In addition to a massive rocket barrage targeting Israel’s metropolitan areas, Hamas forces have infiltrated into Israel with the clear aim of murdering civilians and taking hostages,” he said.

“These acts constitute egregious war crimes in their targeting of civilians and are an armed attack against a sovereign state.

“We expect the State of Israel to take all necessary measures to defend itself and to defeat the terror forces of Hamas and restore peace for Israel’s citizens.

“We call upon the Australian Government to condemn without equivocation these flagrant crimes.

“Any calls for de-escalation by “both sides” or attempts to draw equivalences between the crimes of a terrorist organisation and the defensive measures of a sovereign and democratic state are misconceived and only play into the hands of the terrorists.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Israel at this time.”

The Australian Government issued information for those in need of emergency consular assistance to contact the Australian Government’s 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 (within Australia) or +61 2 6261 3305 (from overseas).

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Article source: Adelaide Advertiser | Justin Vallejo | October 8, 2023

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000

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