OAN’s Roy Francis
11:21 AM – Saturday, October 7, 2023
Warning: This article contains graphic content.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel “is at war” after Hamas launched the largest attack in decades into southern parts of Israel.
Hamas, a designated terrorist group, launched a massive surprise attack into Israel around 6:30 AM local time which consisted of thousands of rockets being fired into Israel, while simultaneously sending dozens of fighters and drones across the border.
The attack came as a surprise on the morning of a Jewish holiday in Israel on Saturday killing dozens of people and wounding hundreds according to Israel’s National Rescue Service. Exact figures are unknown due to the continued fighting in the area.
Mohammad Deif, the senior Hamas military commander, announced the attack on a broadcast on Hamas media. Deif called on Palestinians everywhere to attack Israelis and said that the terror group had launched 5,000 rockets into Israel. He went on to call the attack “the day of the greatest battle to end the last occupation on earth.”
Netanyahu released a statement after the attack saying that Israel is now “at war.”
“Citizens of Israel, we are at war. Not an operation, not a round [of fighting,] at war! This morning Hamas initiated a murderous surprise attack against the state of Israel and its citizens,” Netanyahu said. “We have been in this since the early morning hours. I have convened the heads of the defense establishment. I’ve given directives, first and foremost, to clear the [affected] urban areas of the terrorists who penetrated them. This is happening right now.”
He went on to announce that the reservists in Israel are being called to mobilize in order to “fight back,” and that the “enemy will pay an unprecedented price.”
“In parallel, I am initiating an extensive mobilization of the reserves to fight back on a scale and intensity that the enemy has so far not experienced. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price,” Netanyahu said. “I urge the public to follow strictly the directives of the military, the Home Front Command. We are at war and will win.”
Reports and footage showed Israeli civilians, along with Israeli military members, being killed or captured by Hamas fighters, while graphic footage showed fighters also desecrating the bodies of those who were killed in the attack.
According to Israeli media, Hamas gunmen had opened fire indiscriminately on passersby, and fighting erupted in the streets of towns in southern Israel after the Hamas fighters had penetrated through the border.
Videos released by Hamas showed their fighters using paragliders in order to fly over the border and be able to launch their assault into Israel.
Hezbollah, the terror group in Lebanon, has also reportedly gathered fighters on the northern border of Israel as they celebrated the attack by Hamas and saying that they stand ready to aid Hamas if Israel is to conduct any ground operations into Gaza. Israel has reinforced its military along its northern border in preparation of an attack by Hezbollah.
12 hours after the initial attack by Hamas, an Israeli army spokesperson said that the fighting is continuing in 22 locations throughout southern Israel. Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari also said that air and ground operation were launched into Gaza in retaliation as part of “Operation Swords of Iron,” and that dozens of Hamas fighters have been killed or captured.
“The Israeli Defence Forces will defend Israeli civilians and the Hamas terrorist organization will pay heavy price for its actions,” the military said.
The Israel Defense Forces said that a number of targets within Gaza have been targeted and destroyed with airstrikes while ground forces were also being launched as well.
The United States National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson condemned the attacks by Hamas saying that they were unprovoked and stressed that there is “never any justification for terrorism.”
President Joe Biden released a statement also condemning the attacks by Hamas and offering support to Israel.
“This morning,” the statement read. “I spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu about the horrific and ongoing attacks in Israel. The United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, and I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel”
45th President Donald Trump said that the attacks are a “disgrace” and that “Israel has every right to defend itself with overwhelming force,” he went on to say that the peace that he had brought to the Middle East through the Abraham accords have been whittled away by President Biden.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.
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