Israel Military Confirms Some Israeli Towns Under Hamas Control After Major Attack

Israel Military Confirms Some Israeli Towns Under Hamas Control After Major Attack
A building is ablaze in Tel Aviv, Israel, following rocket attacks by Hamas from the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, 2023. (Itai Ron/Reuters)

Israel’s military confirmed Saturday that Hamas has seized control of some Israeli towns and cities near the Gaza Strip, following a major surprise attack by the Hamas terrorist group.

It is unclear exactly which Israeli towns and cities adjacent to the Gaza Strip have been taken over by Hamas.

Hamas launched an unprecedented surprise assault Saturday morning that saw terrorists infiltrating Israeli territory and the Hamas terrorist group firing thousands of rockets from Gaza into the country.

Israel hasn’t seen an attack of this magnitude for years.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a security cabinet meeting at the Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv, and declared “we are at war.”

NTD Photo
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks from Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 7, 2023. (Israeli Ministry of Defence/Video keyframe via Reuters)

“Citizens of Israel, we are at war, not in an operation or in [fighting] rounds, but at war,” he said in a video address.

“This morning, Hamas launched a murderous surprise attack against the State of Israel and its citizens,” Mr. Netanyahu said in Hebrew. “We have been in this since the early morning hours. I convened the heads of the security establishment and ordered—first of all—to clear out the communities that have been infiltrated by terrorists. This currently is being carried out.

“At the same time, I have ordered an extensive mobilisation of reserves and that we return fire of a magnitude that the enemy has not known. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price. In the meantime, I call on the citizens of Israel to strictly adhere to the directives of the army and Home Front Command. We are at war and we will win it.”

Rockets are fired toward Israel
Rockets are fired toward Israel from Gaza, on Oct. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

In a separate video message, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned that Hamas “made a grave mistake” in launching barrages of rockets into southern and central Israel in its surprise morning attack.

“Hamas made a grave mistake this morning, it opened a war against the state of Israel. Israel Defence Forces soldiers are fighting the enemy in all infiltration points. I call civilians to abide by the Home Front Command instructions and follow them to the letter. The state of Israel will win this war,” he said in Hebrew.

NTD Photo
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks from Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 7, 2023. (Israeli Ministry of Defense/Keyframe from video via Reuters)

In a broadcast on Hamas media early Saturday morning around 8:00 a.m. local time, Hamas military leader Mohammad Deif announced the new attack against Israel as he urged Palestinians everywhere to fight. He claimed that over 5,000 rockets targeted Israel in just the first 20 minutes of the attack.

“We have decided to put an end to these [Israeli offenses] … so the enemy understands that the time of wreaking without being held accountable is over,” he said in Arabic.

“We announce the start of ‘Al Aqsa flood operation,’ We also announce … that the first strike of ‘Al Aqsa flood operation’ has targeted sites of the enemy, its airports, and military fortifications during the first 20 minutes, with more than 5,000 rockets and missiles launched.”

At 8:25 a.m. local time, Israel’s military, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) declared a “state of alert for war.”

The IDF said at 10:40 a.m. that terrorists had invaded Israel from the sea, air, and ground. By 11:00 a.m., it announced that about 2,500 rockets had been fired toward Israel.

Epoch Times staff, The Associated Press, and Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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