Monday, December 4, 2023

Israel-Palestine conflict: Gaza under heavy bombardment, more than 200 killed

Hundreds of rockets have been fired from the blockaded Gaza Strip towards the occupied territories, and sirens have been heard as far away as the greater Tel Aviv area. Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, which runs the besieged enclave, has announced the start of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel. The Israeli Army says it has declared a “state of readiness for war”.

Netanyahu says Israel will ‘reach every place Hamas is hiding’

The Israeli prime minister, in a televised address, vowed Israel would defeat Hamas, but said the fighting “will take time”.

Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will “reach every place Hamas is hiding”, telling residents of Gaza to “leave those places now”.

Referring to Israeli captives being held in Gaza, he added: “I tell Hamas, you are responsible for well being of captives, Israel will settle the score with anyone who harms them.”

Israeli death toll rises to 200: Authorities

At least 200 Israelis have been killed in the Hamas military operation against Israel, according to the latest figures provided by Israeli authorities.

Israel’s Health Ministry has reported that at least 1,452 people have been wounded.

Palestinian health ministry: Gaza death toll reaches 232

At least 232 Palestinians have been killed and over 1,697 wounded in Israeli air strikes on Gaza, the Palestinian ministry of health has said.

Another four Palestinians, including a 13-year-old boy, have been killed by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank.

Hospitals ‘very crowded’: Gaza-based doctor

Medical doctor Belal Dabour says one of the hospitals in Gaza he frequented earlier today was jam-packed as families searched frantically for their loved ones who may have been killed or injured amid Israeli attacks.

“It was very crowded. The death toll in Gaza is staggering. You can imagine the number of relatives searching for their loved ones, in addition to people who came to to support their families,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dabour stated some were there to donate blood while others showed up to seek refuge in the hospital vicinity.

“They believe hospitals are relatively safe, especially people living by the eastern borders of Gaza. This has been a trend in previous wars,” he continued.

Gaza power cuts to have ‘serious health repercussions’: Ministry

Israel’s decision to cut power to the Gaza Strip is set to cause serious health repercussions, the local ministry of health has warned.

As Israel controls around two-thirds of all Gaza’s electricity, the decision to cut power to the besieged strip will force hospitals to operate electrical generators for long hours, the ministry added.

However, due to low fuel reserves and the deterioration of the generators, the practice is unsustainable, the ministry warned.

Abbas tells Blinken injustice towards Palestinians is leading to ‘explosion’

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that “injustice” towards Palestinians is driving the conflict with Israel to an “explosion”, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Abbas attributed the escalation to “practices of the colonialists and the Israeli occupation forces, and the aggression against Islamic and Christian sanctities”, according to WAFA.

IRC appeals for continued humanitarian access

The International Rescue Committee has called on both parties to assure humanitarian access is maintained.

“We are dismayed by the dramatic escalation of violence and mourn the extensive loss of civilian life in Israel and Gaza today,” the organisation said.

“We are assessing needs on the ground and IRC’s capacity to ensure critical, life-saving humanitarian relief reaches affected civilian populations,” it added.

“The IRC calls on all parties to uphold their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and ensure humanitarian access to those affected.”

Israeli death toll reaches 150 as rocket target Tel Aviv

The Israeli death toll has risen to 150 while more than 1,100 more people are wounded, Israeli media has reported.

Meanwhile, a barrage of rockets were fired from Gaza towards Tel Aviv, where sires have been heard.

Energy minister says electricity supply to Gaza halted

Israel Energy Minister Israel Katz said in a statement he had ordered the state-run electricity company to halt supply to the blockaded enclave.

“I have signed an order instructing (Israel) Electric Company to stop the electricity supply to Gaza,” he stated.

While there is an operational power station in Gaza, it relies heavily on power from Israel and has faced years of regular outages.

Israeli president blames Iran for Hamas attack

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has blasted Iran for coordinating the attack by Hamas, calling on the international community to support Israel in condemning the armed group and Tehran.

“Today we saw the true face of Hamas,” Herzog wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“A terrorist army whose only goal is the cold-blooded murder of innocent men, women and children.”

He said Israel would take all measures necessary to eliminate this “clear and immediate danger” to Israeli citizens.

Four Palestinians, including a child, killed in West Bank

A fourth Palestinian was killed in the West Bank, the Palestinian Ministry of Health has confirmed.

Ahmad AbdelNasser Rabi, 13, was killed by Israeli soldiers in Qalqilia, the ministry announced.

Israeli air raids hit house of Hamas leader Yahya al-Sinwar

Israeli warplanes have reportedly struck the house of Yahya al-Sinwar, Hamas’ leader in Gaza, local media reported.

It was not immediately clear if Sinwar or members of his family were home at the time.

UN Security Council to meet Sunday

The United Nations Security Council is set to meet on Sunday in the wake of the Hamas attacks and continuing Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

UN chief Antonio Guterres condemned the attack by Hamas and urged “all diplomatic efforts to avoid a wider conflagration”, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned for the civilian population and urges maximum restraint. Civilians must be respected and protected in accordance with international humanitarian law at all times,” Dujarric added.

Three Palestinians killed in West Bank, settler attacks on rise

Three Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Ministry of Health has confirmed.

In the meantime, settler attacks have increased, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society announced.

Israel Air Force says hit two high-rises in Gaza

Israel’s Air Force has announced its fighter jets have struck two high-rise buildings in Gaza, saying they housed Hamas “military infrastructure”.

“The Air Force attacked two military infrastructures of senior members of the terrorist organization Hamas inside high-rise buildings,” the Israeli Air Force said, without providing the exact location.

The Air Force statement added “Hamas places its military assets in the heart of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip”.

Health ministry: 100 Israelis killed, 900 wounded

The Israeli Health Ministry has confirmed that around 908 people have been wounded and have been taken to hospitals for treatment in the ongoing attack.

Authorities say that 100 Israelis have been killed in the assault so far.

Brazil calls for emergency meeting of UN Security Council after attack on Israel

Brazil, which holds the current presidency of the United Nations Security Council, said it will call an emergency meeting of the council after the surprise attack on Israel Saturday.

In a statement, Brazil’s foreign ministry condemned the unprecedented attack by Hamas and offered “its solidarity with the Israeli people.”

“Underlining there is no excuse to the use of violence, especially against civilians, the Brazilian government urges all parts to exert maximum restraint in order to end the escalation of the situation,” the ministry statement added.

Brazil also noted it continues to support a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine

Israeli army: Hostages have been taken to the Gaza Strip

Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari confirmed that Hamas has taken hostages to the Gaza Strip and that a number of Israeli soldiers have been killed in the fighting that broke out Saturday.

The number of Israeli soldiers that have been killed has not been confirmed, however, and Hagari said that fighting was ongoing in 22 locations.

He added that four divisions have been deployed to the separation fence with Gaza, alongside an additional 31 battalions already there.

Emergency officials estimate death toll has reached about 70 people in Israel

The Israeli Emergency Services estimate about 70 people are now dead in Israel, with hundreds seriously injured, after Palestinians launched a surprise attack Saturday, firing thousands of rockets and entering the occupied territories by land, sea and air using paragliders.

So far, 908 wounded people have been taken to Israeli hospitals, the Israeli health ministry has confirmed.

Meanwhile in Gaza, almost 200 Palestinians have been killed, with more than 1,600 injured, the Palestinian health ministry has confirmed.

Hamas has taken “hostages and prisoners of war”: Israel Defense Forces spokesperson

Hamas has taken “hostages and prisoners of war,” the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Daniel Hagari, has confirmed.

“There are hostages and prisoners of war that Hamas took. There are also deaths among IDF soldiers. We don’t have an exact number yet – we are at war,” he said.

Hamas has “opened the gates of hell”: Israeli military leader

The Israel Defense Forces top official in charge of activities in the Palestinian territories, Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian, said that Hamas had “opened the gates of hell” with its surprise attack.

”I want to say one thing — Hamas has opened the gates of hell into the Gaza Strip. Hamas made the decision, and Hamas will bear the responsibility and pay for its deeds.”

Alian’s bellicose rhetoric echoed earlier comments from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said the country would “return fire of a magnitude that the enemy has not known.”

He added that “the enemy will pay an unprecedented price.”

The IDF previously announced that Hamas will “face the consequences and responsibility for these events.”

Biden told Netanyahu that US stands by Israel: PM office

US President Joe Biden and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have spoken on Saturday, according to officials familiar with the matter.

Earlier, Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying Biden called the prime minister Saturday and voiced his support for Israel.

“US President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and emphasized that the US stands by Israel and fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself,” the statement said.

“The Prime Minister thanked the US President for his unreserved support and made it clear that a prolonged and powerful campaign would be required in which Israel would win.”

In a separate statement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated Saturday that the US “unequivocally condemns the appalling attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israel, including civilians and civilian communities.”

“We will remain in close contact with our Israeli partners,” Blinken added.

Netanyahu tells Biden ‘forceful, prolonged campaign’ needed for victory

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken with Joe Biden, saying the US president “emphasised that the US stands alongside Israel and fully supports Israel’s right to self-defense”, according to a statement from the Israeli prime minister’s office.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked US President Biden for the unreserved support and made it clear that a forceful, prolonged campaign – which Israel will win – is necessary,” the statement added.

The Biden administration has regularly touted the US and Israel’s “ironclad” relationship. The US provides $3.8bn in unconditional military aid annually.

We have enough Israeli captives to free all Palestinian detainees: Hamas

Saleh al-Arouri, the Hamas deputy chief, says Hamas has enough Israeli captives to make Israel free all Palestinian prisoners in its jails.

“We managed to kill and capture many Israeli soldiers. The fighting is still on. As to our prisoners I say, your freedom is looming large. What we have in hand will see you set free. The longer fighting continues, the higher the number of prisoners will become,” he told Al Jazeera.

“This is not a [hit-and-run] operation; we started an all-out battle. We expect fighting to continue and the fighting front to expand. We have one prime target: our freedom and the freedom of our holy sites,” he stated.

Al-Arouri added that Palestinians have a right to freedom, to fight the Israeli occupation and to safeguard their holy sites.

“We will continue to fight until we are rewarded with victory, freedom and independence,” he continued.

The Hamas deputy chief said the group is ready for “the worst-case scenario”.

“All scenarios are now possible and we are ready for an [Israeli] land invasion,” he continued, adding that Israel had been planning to launch an attack on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Nurse, ambulance worker killed in Gaza atacks: MSF

The humanitarian organisation said Israeli attacks had hit the Indonesian hospital and an ambulance in front of the Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza.

“The strikes killed one nurse, one ambulance driver, injured several and damaged an oxygen station,” MSF said on X.

“Health care facilities cannot become targets. We ask all parties to respect health infrastructures, which must remain a sanctuary for people seeking treatment,” the group added.

Death toll in Gaza jumps to 198

The number of Palestinians killed in Gaza following Israel’s attacks has risen to 198, according to health officials.

More than 1,600 people have also been wounded.

Netanyahu and Biden to speak in next hour

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden are expected to speak in the next hour, according to Israeli media.

The talks come following an exchange of attacks between Gaza and Israel.

The US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the Pentagon will work in the coming days “to ensure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself and protect civilians from indiscriminate violence and terrorism.”

“Our commitment to Israel’s right to defend itself remains unwavering,” he continued.

Earlier today, a statement from the White House said that the United States “ unequivocally condemns the unprovoked attacks by Hamas.”

“There is never any justification for terrorism. We stand firmly with the Government and people of Israel and extend our condolences for the Israeli lives lost in these attacks,” the statement continued.

US will ensure Israel ‘has what it needs to defend itself’: Pentagon

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin stated the United States will work to ensure that Israel “has what it needs to defend itself”.

“Over the coming days the Department of Defense will work to ensure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself and protect civilians from indiscriminate violence and terrorism,” Austin said in a statement.

Number of Palestinians killed at least 160: Medical sources

Medical sources in Gaza have told Al Jazeera that at least 160 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s attacks.

The number of wounded people has exceeded 1,000.

At least 40 dead, 779 wounded since Hamas military operation

At least 40 people have been killed since Hamas launched its Saturday morning surprise attack on Israel, the Israeli emergency service confirmed.

Another 779 people have been wounded, according to the Israeli Health Ministry.

Qatar says Israel is responsible for escalation, calls for restraint

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement saying Israel alone was responsible for the ongoing escalation of violence with the Palestinian people.

It called on both sides to exercise utmost restraint and appealed to the international community to stop Israel from using these events as an excuse to launch a disproportionate war against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Netanyahu calls on Israelis to unite

In his opening remarks at the security cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the army’s first goal is “to cleanse the area of the enemy forces that have infiltrated and restore security and peace to the settlements that were attacked”.

“The second goal, at the same time, is to exact a huge price from the enemy, also in the Gaza Strip,” the Israeli prime minister stated.

Israel will also reinforce frontiers to deter any others from “making the mistake of joining this war”, Netanyahu added, calling on all citizens of Israel to unite.

Israeli schools will be closed on Sunday: Ministry

The Israeli Education Ministry announced all kindergartens and schools will be closed across the country on Sunday, expanding a previously announced decision.

Earlier, the army stated that studies would not be carried out in the centre and south of Israel

Saudi Arabia calls for halt to escalation

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry announced in a statement that it is closely following developments and called for an immediate halt to the escalation.

The Saudi ministry stressed repeated warnings about the occupation and reiterated a call for a credible peace process.

‘Difficult days ahead’: UN coordinator for the middle east peace process

Tom Wennesland, the UN coordinator for middle east peace process, has told Al Jazeera that the scale of the confrontation between Israel and Gaza this time, is much bigger and signals difficult days ahead.

“I am horrified and disgusted by the attacks this morning. There are a number of people killed and kidnapped after thousands of rockets were launched into Israel….I am also very concerned about the situation in Gaza,” he said.

Asked why his official statement about the attack had no mention about the Palestinians in Gaza and whether he had any sympathy for them, Wennesland stated: “I am a bit surprised by the question.”

He highlighted that as the UN, they are the only institution constantly reporting on situation and plight of the people in Gaza and other occupied territories.

He added that civilians on both sites would bare the brunt of further attacks and said that the UN had already started talking to all the parties concerned about stopping escalations.

Health officials in Gaza call for blood donations

The Ministry of Health in Gaza has issued a call for blood donations at hospitals in the besieged enclave.

It comes as Israel has been bombarding the Gaza Strip and reports of a high number of casualties amid continuing fighting.

Witnesses have confirmed the presence of a large number of dead and wounded people at hospitals in Gaza.

Israeli police are responding to threats in “large” numbers, 21 active fronts identified

There are “large” numbers of Israel Police and Border Police responding to multiple locations and threats, police spokesman Dean Elsdunne said on Saturday.

Elsdunne stated bomb squad technicians have been deployed to clear missile debris and shrapnel sites.

Elsdunne added that Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai is holding a “special situational assessment” at the national police headquarters in Jerusalem, which Israel Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir is attending.

21 fronts: In a separate briefing, Shabtai said, “We are currently in a state of war, a complex attack in the area around Gaza, and the towns in southern Israel. Right now there are 21 active fronts in the south.”

Egypt and Turkey urge ‘restraint’

Egypt has warned of “grave consequences” from an escalation in tensions, according to a statement from the foreign ministry carried by the state news agency.

It called for “exercising maximum restraint and avoiding exposing civilians to further danger”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also urged parties “to act with restraint … and to stay away from impulsive steps that will escalate tensions”.

Speaking to his ruling party congress in Ankara, Erdogan separately urged against “any kind of attempt” to harm the “historical and religious status” of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel says it struck 21 Hamas targets in air raids

Dozens of fighter jets and other military aircraft attacked 17 military compounds and four operational headquarters of Hamas, Israeli army has claimed.

The attacks were carried out in the last few hours, according to an army statement on social media platform X.

‘Difficult hours ahead of us’: Israeli military

Daniel Hagari, spokesperson for the Israeli defense forces, has acknowledged that it is possible Israeli forces have yet to take back control of every community where Hamas attacked.

Speaking on Israel’s Channel 12, the spokesperson said there are “difficult hours ahead of us”.

He added the IDF is upping its strikes in Gaza.

Israeli army: Infiltration came from land, air and sea

The Israeli military spokesperson has said Palestinian fighters infiltrated Israeli cities through land, air and sea in the ongoing assault.

According to the Ynet news website, the spokesperson stated small vessels came from the sea, paragliders landed from the air and dozens of fighters entered through the fence separating Israel from Gaza, after using explosives to destroy the barriers.

The spokesperson added they suspect other fighters may have entered through tunnels.

At least 22 Israelis killed by Hamas attacks: Medics

At least 22 people have been killed in the surprise attack launched by Hamas group on Saturday morning, according to Israel’s Magen David Adom rescue service.

MDA announced more than 250 casualties have been reported, including the 22 people who died.

MDA did not say how many of those killed or wounded were civilians.

The Israeli health ministry, but, announced that 545 people have arrived in Israeli hospitals.

A senior official from Israel’s emergency services has hinted in an interview on Israeli public radio that the death toll is now higher than the official number of 22.

There are efforts ongoing to reach injured people.

Palestinians have right to defend against ‘terror of settlers and occupation troops’: Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that the Palestinian people have their right to defend themselves against the “terror of settlers and occupation troops”.

Abbas chaired an emergency leadership meeting that included civilian and security officials, where he gave instructions to provide protection for Palestinians, WAFA news agency reported.

Operation a message to Arab countries normalising ties with Israel: Hamas

Ghazi Hamad, Hamas spokesperson and former deputy foreign minister for the government in Gaza, has told Al Jazeera that the Palestinian operation is also a message to Arab countries who have been normalising relations with Israel.

“I think it is [shameful] for them. I ask all Arab countries to disconnect and cut relationships with Israel, because it is not a state which believes in peace, or coexistence, or believes in being a good neighbour,” Hamad said.

“It is an enemy state and we have to stop them,” he added.

This is a ‘war against invaders’: Hamas spokesperson

Hamas spokesperson Khaled Qadomi has told Al Jazeera that the group’s military operation is in response to all the atrocities the Palestinians have faced over the decades.

“We want the international community to stop atrocities in Gaza, against Palestinian people, our holy sites like Al-Aqsa. All these things are the reason behind starting this battle,” he said.

Asked whether Hamas had taken Israeli soldiers and civilians hostage, Qadomi replied: “They are not hostages. They are prisoners of war.”

He added that the Israeli settlers are also occupiers and according to international law, they are invaders.

“So the situation today is a war against invaders,” he stressed.

UK, Germany, France and Italy condemn attacks on Israel

Britain “unequivocally condemns” the surprise attack by Hamas on Israel, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly stated.

“The UK will always support Israel’s right to defend itself,” Cleverly said in a post on social media platform X.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says Berlin “firmly condemns the terrorist attacks from Gaza against Israel.”

Baerbock stated Hamas “contributes to the intensification of violence”, adding that “violence and rockets aimed at innocent people must stop immediately”.

France’s foreign ministry has also released a statement condemning “in the strongest terms the ongoing terrorist attacks against Israel and its population”.

“France expresses its full solidarity with Israel and the victims of these attacks. It reaffirms its absolute rejection of terrorism and its attachment to the security of Israel,” the statement added.

Italy noted it backs “Israel’s right to defend itself” against the “brutal attack” by Hamas.

The government announced it “condemned in the strongest terms the terror and the violence under way against innocent civilians.”

‘We are at war and we will win’: Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated Israel is in a war it “will win”.

“Our enemy will pay type of a price which it has never known,” Netanyahu said in video statement in his first comments on the Hamas attack.

“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,” he stated.

“At the same time, I have ordered an extensive mobilization of reserves and that we return fire of a magnitude that the enemy has not known,” the PM added.

Six killed, about 200 wounded in Israel: Report

Israeli media reproted nearly 200 people have been wounded in the continuing Hamas attack, according to statements from various hospitals.

At least two dozen are seriously or critically wounded, a report by the Times of Israel said.

The report added that at least six people have been confirmed killed.

Events ‘a decisive response to Israel’s continued occupation’: Hezbollah

The Lebanese armed group Hezbollah has announced they are following the situation in Gaza and are “in direct contact with the leadership of the Palestinian resistance”.

It stressed recent events are “a decisive response to Israel’s continued occupation and a message to those seeking normalisation with Israel”.

Earlier, the military chief of Hamas had called on armed groups in Lebanon to join the fighting against Israel.

EU’s top diplomat says bloc ‘unequivocally’ condemns Hamas attacks

The European Union on Saturday “unequivocally” condemned attacks by the Palestinian group Hamas on Israel and called for an immediate stop to the violence.

“We follow with anguish the news coming from Israel. We unequivocally condemn the attacks by Hamas. This horrific violence must stop immediately,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

Terrorism and violence solve nothing. The EU expresses its solidarity with Israel in these difficult moments,” he added.

Israeli local official killed in firefight: Regional Council

The head of a regional council for Israeli border areas northeast of the Gaza Strip has been killed in a firefight, according to the council.

“The president of the regional council, Ofir Liebstein, was killed during an exchange of fire with terrorists,” the Shaar Negev regional council announced in a statement.

At least 100 injured across Israel during Hamas operation

At least 100 people have been injured across Israel in the attacks from Gaza, according to figures from two hospitals.

At least 80 people with varying degrees of injuries have been transferred to Soroka Medical Center, a major medical center in the southern Israeli city of Be’er Sheva the hospital said in a statement.

The Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, a city in central Israel, announced it is treating at least 21 people injured on Saturday, including two in serious condition, four in moderate condition and 15 with mild injuries.

Some of the injured suffered gunshot wounds. Others were wounded by shrapnel, the Kaplan Medical Center added.

Hamas chief: We’re in a heroic campaign to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque

Ismail Haniyeh, the political chief of Hamas, said in a statement Palestinian resistance was in a “heroic fight” to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“Our brave and hard-working Palestinian people, those freeing the world, the Palestinian resistance, in these historical moments are engaged in a heroic fight for Al-Aqsa Mosque, our sacred sites, and our prisoners,” he stated.

“Over the last few days, thousands of fascist and criminal settlers desecrated the shrine of the Prophet [Muhammad] and performed their prayers there to impose sovereignty over the area. If the world will be silent, we will not be silent about this aggression,” Haniyeh added.

Palestinians say they took Israeli soldiers hostage

Palestinian media has reported that Hamas fighters have taken Israeli captives and taken them back to Gaza.

Footage published by Hamas’ military wing the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades showed that fighters have taken over an Israeli military site.

Other footage showed a destroyed Israeli tank.

According to Reuters, the Israeli military was aware of reports of captives, a security source stated, but provided no further details.

Gun battles continue in seven locations near Gaza border: Report

The Israeli military is fighting Hamas fighters in seven of locations in southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip, according to the Times of Israel.

The gun battles are taking place in and around the towns of Kfar Aza, Sderot, Sufa, Nahal Oz, Magen, Be’eri, and the Re’im military base, a report says.

Israel says more than 2,200 rockets fired into Israel

Daniel Hagari, Israeli army spokesman, says more than 2,200 rockets have been fired into Israel since 6:30am.

Hagari added that Hamas members infiltrated from land, sea and air.

US is ‘closely monitoring’ security situation in Israel

The US embassy in Israel announced that it is “closely monitoring” the security situation in Israel after rocket attacks and the infiltration of Hamas fighters from Gaza.

“US citizens are reminded to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness as security incidents, including mortar and rocket fire, often take place without warning,” an embassy statement said.

It added that US embassy personnel are currently sheltering in place.

US government personnel continue to be banned from travelling to Gaza and areas within seven miles (11km) of Gaza, the statement read.

‘EU stands in solidarity with Israeli people’: European Council president

President of the European Council Charles Michel has stated the “EU stands in solidarity with Israeli people”.

“Strongly condemn the indiscriminate attacks launched against Israel and its people this morning inflicting terror and violence against innocent citizens,” he wrote on Twitter.

One person killed in Israeli attack on Gaza hospital: Palestinian officials

The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced at least one person has been killed in an Israeli attack that hit the Indonesian Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip.

It added that a number of people had also been wounded.

Four Palestinians killed by Gaza border area: Report

Four Palestinians have been killed and five are wounded in confrontations between the Israeli army and Palestinian groups in the border area of the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency has reported.

Israeli army launches ‘Operation Iron Swords’

Israeli army announced it has launched “Operation Iron Swords” against the Hamas group in the Gaza Strip, in response to attacks from the territory.

The Israeli army said on X dozens of fighter jets are carrying out attacks on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

The army added that it will provide further information soon.

Hamas made a ‘grave mistake’: Israel’s defence chief

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has warned that Hamas has made a “grave mistake” by starting a war against Israel.

Israeli soldiers are “fighting the enemy at all the infiltration sites”, he was quoted as saying by local media.

“The State of Israel will win this war,” he added.

Airports close in southern and central Israel: Local media

Local airports in central and southern Israel have been closed for commercial and leisurely use, according to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

Ben Gurion Airport will remain operational and will act according to security instructions and guidelines, another report added.

Operation surprised Israel: Hamas member

Hamas member Ezzet al-Rashq stated the operation surprised Israel “in terms of time, place and planning”.

He added it came as a response to Israeli raids at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza flee homes from areas bordering Israel

Hundreds of residents in the Gaza Strip have fled their homes to move away from the border with Israel, Agence France-Presse reported.

Men, women and children were seen carrying blankets and food items as they left their homes, mostly in the northeastern part of the Palestinian territory, the news agency said.

‘Israel is in an emergency’: Opposition leader

The office of Yair Lapid, Israeli opposition leader, announced that “Israel is in an emergency” and Lapid would back a “harsh military response” to Hamas’s attacks.

Lapid has received a security update from the prime minister’s military secretary, Avi Gil, according to local media reports.

Four dead in southern Israeli town: Mayor

The mayor of Kuseife, Abd al-Aziz Nassara, told Israel’s Kan public broadcaster that there are at least four dead and several more wounded after the attacks on the town.

Kuseife, a town in southern Israel, is about 65km away from Gaza.

Emergency services earlier announced one woman had been killed in the Hamas attacks.

‘We can overcome all those who wish us harm’: Israel’s president

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has stated Israel is facing a very difficult moment amid the attacks from Gaza.

“I wish to offer strength to the army and rescue services,” he said in a post on social media platform X, adding: “I send my encouragement and strength to all the residents of Israel who are under attack.

“We can overcome all those who wish us harm,” the president continued.

US official condemns ‘indiscriminate’ attack on Israel

Stephanie Hallett, the charge d’affaires at the US embassy in Jerusalem, has slammed the rocket attacks from Gaza against Israel.

“I condemn the indiscriminate rocket fire by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians,” she said in a statement on social media platform X.

“I am in contact with Israeli officials, and fully support Israel’s right to defend itself from such terrorist acts,” she added.

Two Palestinian youths killed in Gaza: Report

Two Palestinian youths have been killed and five others wounded by Israeli forces’ gunfire east of Bureij camp, in the central Gaza Strip, according to local media reports.

The Palestinian WAFA news agency reported that the five wounded, one of them seriously, arrived at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the city of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, following confrontations east of Bureij.

Fifteen Israelis wounded in attacks from Gaza: Medics

Israel’s emergency aid service announced 15 people have been injured in the attacks launched against Israel from the Gaza Strip.

In a statement made on social media platform X, the emergency aid service said that two of the wounded were in a serious condition, six were in moderate condition, and the remaining seven were lightly wounded.

One person has been announced killed so far in the attacks.

Israeli defence minister approves mobilisation of reservists

Israeli Defence Minister Joav Gallant has approved the mobilisation of reservists, according to his office.

The number of reservists to be called up for duty will depend on the military’s needs, a statement from Gallant’s office added.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad says it has joined Hamas in attack

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group has stressed it is “part of this battle”.

“Our cadres stand alongside their brothers in Hamas, shoulder to shoulder, until victory,” a spokesperson stated.

Protest against judicial overhaul cancelled: Organisers

Organisers of protests against the Israeli government’s judicial overhaul plan have cancelled their weekly demonstration scheduled for Saturday night.

“We stand with the residents of Israel and give full support to [the security forces],” the protest organisers announced in a statement quoted by the Israeli media.

They also called on the people who were planning to participate in the protest “to play their part to safeguard the security and health of the residents of Israel”.

Israel starts attacking targets in Gaza Strip: Army

The Israeli army announced it has started an operation aimed at Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

The military has made the statement on social media platform X.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has also declared an emergency situation within a range of 80km from the Gaza Strip, according to his office.

The “special situation” allows the military to restrict gatherings and close off areas. The restricted region includes Tel Aviv and Beersheba.

Hamas takes control of police station in Sderot: Report

Hamas fighters have taken control of the police station in Israel’s Sderot and a number of people have been injured in a fire exchange, the Israel Broadcasting Authority has reported.

Hamas in occupied West Bank issues call to arms

Saleh al-Arouri, deputy chief of Hamas in the occupied West Bank, has issued a call to arms.

“We must all fight this battle, especially the resistance fighters in the West Bank,” he said in a statement.

“The West Bank is the final word in this battle, and it can open a clash with all the settlements in the West Bank. We call on our people to participate in the battle of Al-Aqsa Flood,” he added.

Israeli army declares ‘state of readiness for war’

The Israeli army says it has declared a “state of readiness for war”.

“In the last hour, a massive firing of rockets into Israeli territory from Gaza began, and terrorists penetrated into Israeli territory in a number of different locations,” according to a statement by the Israeli army social media platform X.

“Hamas … which is behind this attack, will bear the results and responsibility for the events,” it added.

Over 5,000 rockets fired in first 20 minutes: Hamas

More than 5,000 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel in the first 20 minutes of the operation, Hamas’s armed wing has said.

“We decided to put an end to all the crimes of the occupation (Israel), their time for rampaging without being held accountable is over,” the group stressed.

Israel announced it had activated its Iron Dome defence system.

‘We will defend ourselves’: Israeli army

The Israeli army announced, “Israelis across the country – on Shabbat and the holiday of Simchat Torah – woke up to sirens sounding and Hamas firing rockets at them from Gaza this morning.”

“We will defend ourselves,” according to a post by the army on social media platform X.

Israeli woman killed by Gaza rocket: Medics

An Israeli woman has been killed by a rocket fired from Gaza, Israel ambulance service has confirmed.

Palestinian fighters infiltrated Israel from Gaza: Israeli army

The Israeli army has confirmed a number of Palestinian fighters “have infiltrated” Israel from the Gaza Strip, without providing further information.

“Residents in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip have been asked to stay in their homes,” the army announced in a statement.

Hamas says it has launched military operation against Israel

The leader of Hamas’s military wing says the group has launched a new operation against Israel.

In a rare public statement, Mohammed Deif stated that 5,000 rockets had been fired into Israel early Saturday to begin “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm”. Israel also reported an infiltration from Gaza.

“We’ve decided to say enough is enough,” Deif added as he urged all Palestinians to confront Israel.

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