On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared the country “at war” after Palestinian militants in Gaza launched a deadly barrage of rockets and sent gunmen into Israeli territory, escalating the long-running conflict between the two sides.
According to the Israeli military, militants launched approximately 2,200 rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip, while armed gunmen infiltrated Israel by land, sea, and air – in paragliders. Multiple explosions were heard over Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and southern Israel, with some blasts likely being interceptions of incoming rockets, while air raids drove Israelis underground.
The Israeli military stated that Hamas had taken “hostages and prisoners of war,” but did not specify how many.
According to Israel’s rescue service Magen David Adom (MDA), 70 people were killed and hundreds more were injured by early afternoon.
Israel retaliated by striking what it called Hamas targets in Gaza. The Palestinian health ministry reported nearly 200 Palestinians killed and 1,610 injured, but did not specify where the deaths occurred or whether the toll included Hamas militants or Gaza civilians.
Netanyahu stated that operations were underway to clear militants from infiltrated towns, and that he had also called up reservists.
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