3,500 rockets were fired into the south and central part of Israel. On the Israeli side, there are reports of at least 40 dead, and the number of wounded is nearly 800.
At 6:30 a.m. Israel time on Saturday morning, terrorist organizations in Gaza launched a combined attack, including terrorist infiltrations and heavy rocket fire. Exchanges of fire between the Israeli army and terrorists in several areas are underway. So far during the attacks, more than 3,500 rockets were fired into the south and central part of Israel. On the Israeli side, there are reports of at least 40 dead, and the number of wounded is nearly 800. According to initial reports, the terrorists also deployed gliders and forcibly breached the gates used by the Israel Defense Forces near the border fence.
Three weeks ago, we witnessed violent clashes at the fence separating Israel and Gaza. At the same time, on September 29, Hamas and Israel concluded a ceasefire mediated by Qatar, Egypt and the UN.
The attack occurred during the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah and Shabbat, and a day after the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, which also began with a surprise attack.
Israel and Saudi Arabia are currently in talks to normalize relations, with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman recently declaring that normalization „for the first time is based on real foundations.” However, in a statement, the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry „warned several times that the occupation of Gaza will incite further violence.”
The commander of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Mohammed Deif, said the attack was in response to the „desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque” and called on Palestinians and Arab Israelis to „drive out the occupiers and tear down the walls.” Hamas leader Saleh al-Aruri said the operation was a response to „the crimes of the occupation,” adding that the fighters were protecting the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
In response to the Palestinian attack called the Al-Aqsa Flood, the Israeli Defense Forces announced Operation „Iron Swords”, and the Air Force launched a counterattack with dozens of aircraft. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a meeting of the political-security cabinet that „since this morning, the State of Israel has been at war. Our first goal, above all, is to clear Israeli territories of enemy forces and restore security. The second goal is to retaliate against the enemy in the Gaza Strip itself. The third goal is to strengthen the other fronts so that no one makes the mistake of entering the war.” Netanyahu called on the population to „keep calm. He called on all citizens of Israel to unite in order to achieve Israel’s highest goal – victory in the war”.
Targeting of the southern parts has been going on since the morning, bombs have been falling on the central areas since 11:30. Fighting between the security forces and terrorists continues in several southern settlements, including Nahal Oz, Beeri, Patish, on the Ashkelon coast, and the residents are trying to survive the events by locking themselves in their homes. In some surrounding settlements, residents testify that terrorists are trying to penetrate the protected areas, and the security forces are nowhere near the area.
Counterattacks are complicated by reports of Israeli hostages, including civilians, in Gaza, while the Islamic Jihad has announced that it is holding Israeli soldiers captive. The Israel Defense Forces announced that dozens of warplanes are attacking Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to the attack.
According to the commander of the southern district, Amir Cohen, „the conflict will last for a long time, probably for days.” He added: „To our law enforcement officers I say, we are with you. I know there are injured among you, and strong leadership is important here – we will win.”
The USA and its Western European allies, as well as India, Ukraine and Paraguay, have also supported Israel’s right to self-defense. Viktor Orbán said on X that „We strongly condemn the brutal attack on Israel and we clearly support Israel’s right to self-defense. I would like to express my sympathy and condolences to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Israel in these dark hours.”
Talks between Israel and the United States are currently ongoing. According to US Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin, the Pentagon will ensure that Israel has the resources and tools it needs to defend itself.
Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Russia have called on both sides to stop hostilities and avoid escalation.
Iran and the terrorist group Hezbollah congratulated the terrorist organization Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, for the attack.
The attack marked a major escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The current conflict shows a significant difference compared to the previous ones, which typically followed an intermittent progress with a gradual escalation of tensions.
The attack came as a complete surprise, and some analysts considered it a „historic intelligence failure” as the Israeli side failed to detect the extensive preparations for the attack on time.