The death toll in Israel has climbed to 250 as Hamas continues its “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm,” while retaliatory air strikes by Tel Aviv have left at least 232 Palestinians martyred and 1,610 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
Earlier, international media, citing Israel’s health ministry, reported that the ongoing Hamas attack had claimed the lives of at least 200 Israelis and injured more than 1,100.
According to the latest Israeli media reports, at least 1,452 individuals sought medical assistance, with 18 in critical condition and 267 described as severe cases.
The Palestinian health ministry reported “232 martyrs and 1,610 wounded with different injuries” in the conflict up until 4:20 pm.
Palestinians worldwide and within the country are celebrating the highly coordinated assault, which caught Tel Aviv off guard and has been historically successful for the resistance.
Lior Hayat, spokesperson of the Israeli foreign ministry, expressed that “Israel was a nation in shock by the murders and attacks on civilians during Hamas’ military operation.”
Meanwhile, Israel’s army revealed it was engaged in combat with Gaza fighters who had infiltrated Israel via land, sea, and air, even using paragliders following a barrage of rockets launched from the Palestinian enclave.
Army spokesman Richard Hecht stated, “It was a combined ground raid through paragliders, sea, and land. Our forces are currently fighting on the ground in Israel.” Hecht acknowledged casualties but did not provide details or confirm reports of Israelis being captured by Palestinian fighters.
Thousands of military reservists were being called up for Gaza, as well as northern Israel, near Lebanon and Syria, and the occupied West Bank. “We understand this is something big,” Hecht emphasized.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asserted that his people have the right to defend themselves against the “terror of settlers and occupation troops” during an emergency meeting in Ramallah with top officials from the Palestinian Authority.
In earlier events, Hamas commandos attacked southern Israel after firing over 5,000 rockets from Gaza, followed by the infiltration of armed freedom fighters into Israel. The attack left Israelis in “tremendous shock,” according to Al Jazeera’s correspondent.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war against Palestine, stating that Hamas had made a “grave mistake.” This marked an unprecedented infiltration by an unknown number of Hamas gunmen into Israel from Gaza, escalating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict significantly.
Israel’s police chief reported “21 active scenes” in southern Israel, indicating the extent of the attack. In Gaza, people rushed to buy supplies in anticipation of prolonged conflict, while some evacuated their homes and sought shelter.
Hamas military commander Mohammad Deif announced the start of the operation, urging Palestinians worldwide to join the fight and mentioning the launch of 5,000 rockets.
The last major conflict between Israel and Hamas was a 10-day war in 2021.
Israeli PM Netanyahu affirmed, “Our enemy will pay a price it has never known,” stating that Israel is in a “war” it will win.
Reports emerged of gunmen infiltrating homes in southern Israel, with residents seeking refuge in bomb shelters. Israeli Defence Minister Gallant described it as a war initiated by Hamas against the State of Israel, with troops engaged in combat at multiple locations.
The Israeli military acknowledged operating inside Gaza but did not provide specifics. They issued a statement warning residents in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip to remain in their homes.
Israeli media reported gunmen opening fire on passers-by in the town of Sderot, and social media circulated footage of clashes in city streets and gunmen in jeeps roaming the countryside.