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Oct. 7: Hamas terrorists burst through border, slaughter Israelis in their homes

At least 300 killed, 1,590 injured, hostages taken in multi-pronged infiltration from Gaza, as terrorists attack civilians, soldiers at 22 sites; thousands of rockets fired at Israel

Palestinians terrorists transport an abducted Israeli civilian from Kibbutz Nir Oz into the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. (AP/Hatem Ali)
Graphic content: The bodies of Israeli civilians killed by Hamas terrorists lie covered in the southern city of Sderot on October 7, 2023, after an unprecedented infiltration into Israel by hundreds of gunmen from the terrorist organization from Gaza. (Oren ZIV / AFP)
Police officers evacuate a woman and a child from a site hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in Ashkelon, October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Salvo of rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists from Gaza City toward Israel on October 7, 2023 (EYAD BABA / AFP)
Israelis being kidnapped and taken into Gaza by Hamas terrorists, October 7, 2023, as seen in pixelated videos from social media screened on Israeli television. (Channel 12 screenshot)
Palestinians drive a captured Israeli military vehicle in Gaza City on Oct. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Cars are burning after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a parking lot and a residential building in Ashkelon, October 7, 2023 (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Armed terrorists in southern Israel, having infiltrated from Gaza, on the morning of October 7, 2023 (Channel 12 screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Israeli police officers evacuate a family from a site hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in Ashkelon, October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
A rocket fired from Gaza into southern Israel hits Ashkelon, October 7, 2023 (Edi Israel/Flash90)
An ultra-Orthodox Jew peers out of a building after a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)
Israeli fire brigade teams douse the blaze in a parking lot outside a residential building following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, on October 7, 2023. (AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)
Israeli rescue teams evacuate a wounded person near the southern city of Sderot on October 7, 2023, after the Palestinian terror group Hamas launched a large-scale surprise attack on Israel, firing a barrage of rockets from Gaza and sending ground units to kill or abduct Israelis. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)
People dance in celebration of the attacks that the Hamas terror group carried out against Israel, at Bourj al-Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp, in Beirut, Lebanon, October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Saturday’s events as they unfolded.

Rocket sirens sound in Sderot, Kibbutz Nir Am

Sirens warning of incoming rocket attacks sound again in southern Israel. They are heard in Sderot, Kibbutz Nir Am, Yad Mordechai, and Netiv Ha’asara, all near the Gaza Strip.

Earlier overnight, a home in Sderot suffered a direct rocket hit, causing no injuries but significant damage.

Sderot mayor decries ‘massacre of innocent civilians,’ calls to erase Hamas

Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi tells residents to stay in their homes behind locked doors and not open them until instructed otherwise, as Israeli security forces work to find and apprehend an unknown number of Palestinian terrorists who infiltrated this morning from Gaza into Israeli communities and gunned down people in the streets and in their homes.

Davidi decries the “massacre of innocent civilians everywhere,” and calls for Israel’s leadership to deal a significant blow to Hamas.

“We need to take over Gaza and kill them, they need to be erased,” he tells Channel 12.

Rocket sirens sound in Kibbutz Be’eri where Israeli forces battle Palestinian terrorists

Sirens warning of incoming rockets are sounding in Kibbutz Be’eri in southern Israel where Israeli security forces and Palestinian terrorists who infiltrated into the kibbutz from Gaza are engaged in a gun battle.

Hebrew media reports say Israeli forces are still working to clear the kibbutz of terrorists and exchanges of gunfire can be heard.

Earlier, dozens of people were rescued from the kibbutz dining hall where they were held hostage for hours. According to public broadcaster Kan, at least 48 people were rescued in the incident.

Woman seriously injured in rocket hit in Ashkelon, five more lightly wounded

The Magen David Adom ambulance services says a 50-year-old woman was seriously injured in a rocket attack in Ashkelon tonight, and five other sustained light injuries.

The Barzilai Medical Center in the city was hit by a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing, unprecedented attack on Israel.

Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon suffers rocket hit; no injuries reported

The Barzilai Medical Center in the southern city of Ashkelon is hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip. The rocket struck a bridge between buildings at the hospital.

There are no immediate reports of injuries, but significant damage was sustained, a hospital official tells Channel 12.

Two Israeli hostages rescued in Ofakim; terrorists killed

Two Israelis who were taken hostage in a home in the southern town of Ofakim have been rescued by Israeli security forces, according to Hebrew-language media.

Four terrorists at the home were killed, according to the reports. At least one member of Israel’s security forces was injured.

Security cabinet says Israel will destroy military, governmental abilities of Hamas, Islamic Jihad

The Prime Minister’s Office says the security cabinet ended its meeting tonight, following a day of unprecedented attacks by Hamas against Israelis, and has made a “series of operational decisions aimed at bringing about the destruction of the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

His office says Israel’s response will take away “their ability and desire to threaten and harm the citizens of Israel for many years.”

Among the decisions made by the cabinet are stopping the supply of electricity, fuel and goods to the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu says Israel embarking on ‘long and difficult war’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is “embarking on a long and difficult war” that was “forced upon us by a murderous attack by Hamas” throughout the day.

The first phase of the war, he writes on X, involves “destroying most of the enemy forces” that have infiltrated into Israel and have killed civilians and soldiers.

Israel has also begun an offensive into Gaza “and it will continue without hesitation and without respite – until the goals are achieved.”

“We will restore security to the citizens of Israel and we will win,” he writes.

IDF spokesperson in Arabic warns Gaza residents to seek shelter

Avichay Adraee's official IDF photo, via Facebook (photo credit: Publicity)

The IDF’s spokesperson in Arabic has issued a message to residents of the Gaza Strip to seek shelter amid an ongoing Israeli response to Hamas’ deadly, multi-front attack against soldiers and civilians in Israel since this morning.

On X, the IDF’s Arabic-language spokesman Avichay Adraee told residents that “Hamas’ operations are forcing the IDF to operate in your place of residence. For your safety, you must leave your place of residence immediately.”

Sirens wail in southern Israel

Sirens warning of incoming rocket attacks are sounding in southern Israel.

They are heard in Ashkelon and communities near the Gaza Strip.

UK PM Sunak slams ‘barbarity’ of Hamas attack on Israel

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivers the opening speech on the first day of the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London on June 21, 2023. (Henry Nicholls/Pool/AFP)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemns the “barbarity” of Hamas attacks on Israel, building on his original comments.

“As the barbarity of today’s atrocities becomes clearer, we stand unequivocally with Israel,” he writes on X. “This attack by Hamas is cowardly and depraved.”

Israeli death toll in Hamas onslaught rises to at least 300

An Israeli soldier stands by the bodies of people killed by Palestinian terrorists who entered from the Gaza Strip, in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)

The death toll from the Hamas terror group’s massive multi-front attack on Israel rises to more than 300, Hebrew-language media reports say, citing medical officials.

The toll is expected to continue to rise.

At least 1,590 have been wounded, many seriously.

Dozens of civilians as well as IDF soldiers are believed to have been abducted and brought into Gaza; Hamas has boasted that the number of hostages is higher than Israel knows.

IDF says it killed 7 terrorists attempting to infiltrate Israel via Zikim Beach

The IDF says it killed seven terrorists attempting to enter Israel via the Zikim Beach just north of Gaza.

The IDF says it prevented the terrorists from infiltrating into Israeli communities.

The military also says that it also recently struck three operational sites being used by Hamas in Gaza.

Senior White House official: US ready to offer ‘all means of support’ to Israel

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, listens as US President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House, October 7, 2023, in Washington, about the situation in Israel. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

A senior Biden administration official says on a call with reporters that the US “will treat Hamas for what they are. They are an international terrorist organization.”

Washington’s focus is currently on “ensuring that the Israelis have what they need to respond appropriately,” says the official.

The White House official says the US is ready “to offer all appropriate means of support to the people and government of Israel.”

“Israel has a right to defend itself and its people. Full stop.”

“We remain deeply aligned,” said the official, adding that Israel’s response is likely to continue “for some time.

The official says that that US will continue to “work with parties throughout the region” to make sure the fighting doesn’t spread from Gaza.

The official also speaks about the potential of a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, saying that it is “premature to say the impact” that the war will have on those efforts.

“That process has a ways to travel,” says the official, adding that “terrorist groups like Hamas will not derail any such outcome.”

Family of kidnapped Israeli shares video of her abduction by Hamas

Israeli Noa Argamani is seen being kidnapped by Hamas terrorist in the south on October 7, 2023. (Screenshot used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)

The family of Noa Argamani is sharing harrowing footage of her abduction in southern Israel earlier today.

The video shows her being taken away on the back of a motorcycle by Hamas terrorists as she screams “don’t kill me” and stretches her arms out to her boyfriend, Avi Natan, who is also being held by Hamas operatives. They were both attending a festival in the south.

Other footage shows Argamani being held in Gaza sipping from a cup of water.

Israel has confirmed that civilians and soldiers have been abducted and taken into Gaza but have not given a number. Dozens are feared to be held by the terror group, including children and the elderly.

Hostage situation in kibbutz dining hall said to be resolved, hostages rescued safely

The ongoing hostage situation in the dining hall of Kibbutz Be’eri has reportedly been resolved and the hostages rescued.

According to a number of Hebrew media reports, the terrorists who were holding them were neutralized.

Hamas: Number of Israeli hostages in Gaza much higher than Netanyahu thinks

Palestinians ride on an Israeli military vehicle taken by an army base inside Israel overrun by Hamas, in Gaza City, October 7, 2023. (AP/Abed Abu Reash)

In a statement to Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV, the terror group’s military spokesman Abu Ubaida claims that the number of hostages taken into Gaza is “many times greater than what Netanyahu thinks,” and that they are being held in various locations throughout the coastal strip.

The spokesman also urges Israel not to make “miscalculations,” adding that “whatever happens to the people of the Gaza Strip, will happen to [the hostages].”

Israel is now facing a deep crisis after witnessing the heroism of Hamas militants, Abu Ubaida says, adding that Israeli soldiers fell before them “like locusts.”

He vows that Hamas will continue the ongoing operation on all fronts.

Blinken speaks with Egyptian FM, urges halt to Hamas attacks

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry addresses a joint press conference to comment on the Ministerial Meeting on the Middle East Peace Process, on May 11, 2023 at the Foreign Office in Berlin. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks with his Egyptian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

According to the US State Department, Blinken calls for “an immediate halt to the appalling assault by Hamas terrorists against Israel” and also expresses US appreciation for “for the Egyptian leadership’s ongoing efforts” in attempting to reduce tensions.

Rocket sirens sounding in Sderot, Sha’ar Hanegev

Salvo of rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists from Gaza City toward Israel on October 7, 2023 (EYAD BABA / AFP)

Rocket alert sirens sound in Sderot, Sha’ar Hanegev and other Gaza border communities.

Health Ministry says close to 1,600 wounded today

Wounded Israeli soldiers arrive at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, October 7, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The Health Ministry says in an update that at least 1,590 people were wounded and being treated in hospitals today.

As of 11:30 p.m., there are 19 in critical condition, 293 in serious condition, 315 in moderate condition, 715 in mild condition, 20 being treated for severe anxiety and 181 still being evaluated by medical officials.

More than 250 are thought to be have been killed, with that figure expected to rise.

IDF says it struck 2 Hamas operation sites inside Gaza mosques

A ball of fire and smoke rises above a building in Gaza City on October 7, 2023 during an Israeli air strike. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces says that earlier today it struck two “operational infrastuctures” in Gaza that were housed inside mosques and were being used by Hamas to direct terror toward Israel.

The IDF slams Hamas for using “holy sites” and exploiting the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.

Retired IDF major general recounts rescuing his family in Nahal Oz

Illustrative -- A vehicle blocks road near Nahal Oz in southern Israel on March 25, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Maj.-Gen. (retired) Noam Tibon describes to Channel 12 going to Kibbutz Nahal Oz and, together with IDF troops, “saving my family” whose home was surrounded by terrorists from Gaza.

He tells Channel 12 that the troops killed several terrorists and rescued his son and grandchildren.

His son, Amir, a journalist for Haaretz, posts on the social media platform X that his “heroic” father came from Tel Aviv, “led the troops” to the family’s home and “helped kill the terrorists.”

Amir also praises his daughters for staying quiet in the house for hours before they were rescued. “We are praying for the neighbors who are missing and injured.”

Nepalese nationals among those wounded in Hamas assault, reportedly among abducted

Israeli rescue teams evacuate a wounded person near the southern city of Sderot on October 7, 2023, after the Palestinian terror group Hamas launched a large-scale surprise attack on Israel. (Menahem KAHANA / AFP)

Eleven Nepalese agricultural students have been injured, two of them seriously, in the Hamas attack on southern Israel, according to a statement by the Nepalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Nepal’s ambassador to Israel tells CNN that when the attack began, the students were working on a farm in the area. They hid in a bomb shelter but that building was taken over by Hamas.

Separate unconfirmed reports in the Hindustani Times and India Today state that some Nepalese students are also among those who have been taken hostage by Hamas.

IDF says its strikes on Gaza hit rocket launchers, terror cell, Hamas HQ

A ball of fire and smoke rises above a building in Gaza City on October 7, 2023 during an Israeli air strike. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

The Israel Defenses Forces provides details on a number of airstrikes it carried out in the Gaza Strip in the last few hours.

The IDF says it carried out a drone strike on a rocket launcher, and killed two terrorists standing next to it.

In other drone strikes, a terror cell was hit while attempting to infiltrate into Israel via Zikim beach, and another cell was hit while trying to infiltrate from central Gaza, the IDF says.

Fighter jets, meanwhile, targeted a Hamas operational headquarters used by the terror group to carry out rocket attacks, and a headquarters belonging to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the IDF says

Footage published by the IDF shows several recent strikes in the Gaza Strip.

Saudi FM calls for ‘immediate halt to escalation’ and rejects ‘targeting of civilians’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan during a joint news conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, June 8, 2023. (Ahmed Yosri/Pool Photo via AP)

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan speaks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to urge a halt to the violence in and around Gaza.

A Saudi Foreign Ministry statement says the two discussed “the necessity of working toward an immediate halt to the escalation.”

Prince Faisal emphasizes “the kingdom’s rejection of the targeting of civilians and the need for all sides to respect international humanitarian law.”

The Saudis have been in talks with the White House over potentially forging diplomatic relations with Israel, efforts which have now been thrown into question.

Germany, France step up security at Jewish sites amid Israel war

Illustrative: A French officer stands guard near a synagogue in Marseille on November 3, 2020. (Christophe SIMON / AFP)

Germany and France move to reinforce security around Jewish temples, schools and monuments after the surprise attack by Hamas against Israel.

Germany tightens police protection of Jewish and Israeli institutions, as some supporters of the Palestinians took to the streets of Berlin to celebrate the attack.

France is focusing on Jewish temples and schools in cities across the country, as one Jewish leader expresses concern at the possibility the conflict might be imported there.

“In Berlin, police protection has been immediately stepped up,” Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser tells Bild newspaper. “The federal government and the regions are closely coordinating their actions.”

Germany’s authorities are also closely watching “potential supporters of Hamas in the Islamist sphere,” she adds.

In France, security had already been stepped up at synagogues in Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Strasbourg because of the holiday period being observed since late September.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin sends an urgent message to prefects running the country’s regions asking them to reinforce surveillance even further.

“At a time when terrorist attacks from Gaza are hitting Israel, I ask you to immediately step up vigilance, security and protection of Jewish community sites in France,” he writes in a message seen by AFP.

He called for a “visible and systematic static presence,” and the use of soldiers from France’s Operation Sentinelle, a special force deployed across the country since the 2015 terror attacks. The interior ministry will review the security situation at a special meeting tomorrow.

Border town identifies at least 15 of its residents killed in Hamas attack

The Gaza border town of Netiv HaAsara publishes the names of 15 residents who have been killed in today’s attack by Hamas terrorists.

The names of those killed are listed as:

Amit Wax
Yigael Wax
Adi Baharav
Tal Keren
Oren Stern
Ruti Akuni
Aryeh Akuni
Or Akuni
Orit Molcho
Shlomi Molcho
Nurit Berger
Hevik Segel
Marina Almagor
Gil Ta’aseh
Dani Wabak

A statement from the town notes that these are the names that “have been cleared for publication.” The town has a population of around 900.

Hamas official: Our attack has only just begun

Hussam Badran, a member of the political bureau of Hamas, says the terror group’s onslaught is only in its early stages.

Badran says the attack, called the “Al-Aqsa Deluge” by the terror group, comes after careful preparation aimed at catching Israel by surprise.

The terror leader says this battle is different from all previous rounds of conflict, and calls on Arab mediators to convey to Israel that it must “leave our occupied lands.”

He adds that Hamas does not expect them to be mediators but rather supporters of its position.

Like a number of Hamas leaders who have issued statements today, Badran claims the attack is motivated by Israeli control over the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

The mosque, the third holiest site for Muslims, sits atop the Temple Mount, the holiest site for Jews as the location of the biblical temples. Israel has long maintained a delicate status quo at the site, in which Jews are allowed to visit during limited hours, but not pray. Terror groups have repeatedly used baseless claims of Israeli intentions to take over the mosque as a pretext for violence.

Badran also blames Israeli policies in the West Bank and its treatment of Palestinian prisoners for the attack, adding that “we are the owners of this land, and this occupation will not last forever.”

The surprise onslaught against Israel has killed at least 250 Israelis, including many civilians, and injured over 1,000. An unspecified number of Israelis, living and dead, are held hostage by terrorists in Gaza.

Ireland condemns Hamas attack, stresses need for ‘moderate voices’

Irish deputy premier and foreign affairs minister Micheal Martin condemns the attack by Hamas on Israeli citizens, and says it is “vital that the voice of moderation comes to the fore.”

Martin says he could “see tensions rising” during a recent trip to the region, and that the scale of today’s attack is “quite shocking.”

“We believe a two-state solution remains the only sensible and rational solution to this issue and it needs political momentum behind it,” he says.

“My sense is that the hardliners are growing in influence, and that’s why I believe the need to have moderate voices in the center is key,” he says.

“So what we need really is a political peace process to get on track in a serious way. That will mean I think, international intervention as well to facilitate that, but it’s a very, very complex and difficult situation and there will be many consequences to today’s attack.”

Courts system to operate on emergency mode tomorrow amid war

An illustrative photo of a court room in the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, August 1, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/FLASH90)

Israel’s courts will operate on an emergency footing tomorrow and will only hold hearings on urgent matters due to the Hamas invasion of southern Israel and the war with Gaza, it announces.

A statement put out by the Israel Courts Administration says the decision was made by Justice Minister Yariv Levin “with the knowledge of and [in accordance with the] opinion of Supreme Court President Justice Esther Hayut and Director of the Courts Administration Judge Michael Spitzer.”

The decision applies to Israel’s magistrates, district and labor courts, as well as the Supreme Court and the rabbinical courts.

Hearings scheduled for parole committees on Sunday will be postponed to a later date.

Commander of IDF Nahal Brigade killed during clashes with Hamas, IDF says

Col. Jonathan Steinberg, the commander of the Nahal Brigade, in an undated photo (Israel Defense Forces)

The commanding officer of the Nahal Infantry Brigade, Col. Jonathan Steinberg, was killed this morning during clashes with Hamas terrorists in the Kerem Shalom area near the border with the Gaza Strip, the military says.

Steinberg, 42, from the southern town of Shomria, was en route to the site of clashes being managed by his subordinates when he encountered a terrorist who killed him.

He is one of the most senior Israeli officers to have been killed in combat in recent memory.

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin lights up with Israeli flag in solidarity

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin lights up with the Israeli flag in solidarity after a multi-front Hamas attack, October 7, 2023. (Chancellor Olaf Scholz on X)

The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is lit up with the Israeli flag in solidarity following the devastating Hamas attack.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz posts a photo of the gate on X, writing: “In solidary with Israel.”

US Muslim umbrella org issues statement backing Palestinians, no mention of Hamas attacks

The United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a Muslim umbrella organization in the US, issues a statement reiterating its support for Palestinians, and does not mention or condemn in any way the Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians.

The statement condemns “the recent unprovoked and continuous attacks by Israel on Palestinian towns, cities, and refugee camps” as well as “the inhumane siege imposed on the nearly 2 million inhabitants of Gaza,” which the organization says is “an implied declaration of open war on the Palestinians which oblige them to be in constant self-defense.”

The organization calls on the US government “to exert pressure on the occupation regime to immediately cease these atrocities” and criticizes any Arab and Muslim nations that have normalized relations with Israel.

Blinken calls on Abbas to condemn Hamas attack on Israel

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (R) and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken shake hands following their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on January 31, 2023. (Ronaldo Schemidt/Pool/AFP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says he has spoken with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and is urging him to take steps toward calming the situation.

According to the US State Department, Blinken calls “on all leadership in the region to condemn” the Hamas attacks on Israel, and also urges the PA to “enhance steps to restore calm and stability in the West Bank.”

Today in Ramallah, Abbas chaired an emergency leadership meeting of the Palestinian Authority, and according to the official news agency Wafa, “gave instructions to provide protection for the Palestinian people, stressing the right of the Palestinian people to defend themselves against the terrorism of settlers and the occupation forces.”

Abbas also “gave directions to provide all that is necessary to bolster the resilience and steadfastness of the Palestinian people in facing the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation and settler gangs.”

Barrage of rockets fired toward southern Israel

Salvo of rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists from Gaza City toward Israel on October 7, 2023 (EYAD BABA / AFP)

A barrage of rockets is fired from Gaza toward towns in southern Israel, setting off sirens in Sderot, Netivot and a number of other communities near the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu thanks Biden for unreserved support, says Israel faces ‘challenging days’ but will win

Netanyahu says the army is currently clearing Hamas terrorists from everywhere they infiltrated, going house to house, “restoring control to our hands.”

He sends love and condolences to all the bereaved families that lost loved ones “brutally murdered in cold blood.” He prays for the recovery of the injured.

And he warns Hamas that Israel will hold it responsible for the hostages it has taken. “Israel will avenge anyone who is harmed,” he says, “in so much as a hair on their head.”

He says Israel stands in solidarity with residents of the south, who stood firm and fought bravely.

He praises the security forces, calling them the latest in the long history of Israel’s war heroes.

“You are fighting now for all of our homes, for all of our futures,” he says.

“We are all with you, we all love you, we all salute you.”

He praises the members of the emergency services, and says their spirit will help overcome our enemies.

He says he spoke with President Biden and other world leaders from France, Britain and beyond, thanks Biden for his “unreserved support,” and says he secured international backing for “freedom of action” for Israel.

Netanyahu says all Israelis “are in this together. It will take time. It will be hard. We have challenging days ahead of us.”

But he promises that “with God’s help, with our combined strength, and with our belief in an eternal Israel, we will win.”

Major airlines cancel dozens of flights to Tel Aviv amid war

Airplanes at Ben Gurion International Airport, on May 7, 2021. (Yossi Aloni/FLASH90)

Major airlines have canceled dozens of flights to Tel Aviv after Hamas launches a surprise large-scale attack against Israel.

American Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa, Emirates, Ryanair and Aegan Airlines are among those pulling flights.

Air France says it has halted Tel Aviv flights “until further notice.”

Air France-KLM group’s low-cost carrier Transavia also canceled a flight from Paris to Tel Aviv this evening.

In Warsaw, Polish carrier LOT says it has also canceled a flight to Tel Aviv today.

Report: Israelis still held hostage inside kibbutz dining hall

Israeli soldiers head south near Ashkelon, October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Security forces are still trying to extricate an undisclosed number of Israelis who have been held hostage for hours by Hamas gunmen inside the dining hall at Kibbutz Be’eri.

Large numbers of security forces are deployed in the area, Channel 12 reports.

Netanyahu: We will target Hamas everywhere it operates; Gazans should ‘get out now’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a televised address on October 7, 2023. (Screenshot/ GPO)

In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows to use “all the power” of the IDF to destroy Hamas’s capabilities, and tells Gaza’s residents to “get out now.”

Calling today’s events something “never before seen in Israel,” he vows to ensure “it will never happen again.”

He begins by saying Hamas “invaded Israeli territory this morning,” and started a “cruel and evil war,” targeting innocent civilians young and old.

“We will win this war, but the price will be unbearably heavy,” he says.

“Hamas wants to murder us all,” Netanyahu says, “murdering children and mothers in their homes, in their beds.

“It is an enemy that kidnaps elderly people, children, young girls,” an enemy “that massacres and slaughters our civilians, our children, who simply wanted to enjoy the festival.”

“What happened today has never been seen before in Israel and I will ensure it never happens again. The entire government supports this decision. The IDF will immediately use all its power to destroy Hamas’s capabilities,” he says. “We will fight them to the bitter end and avenge this black day they plotted for Israel and its people.”

Israel will target Hamas everywhere — turning the places it “hides and operates” into “cities of ruin.”

He tells the “residents of Gaza” to “get out now because we will operate everywhere and with full force.”

New York police step up protection of Jewish communities

New York State and New York City police have stepped up their protection of Jewish communities and synagogues, Governor Kathy Hochul says.

There are no known threats to New York Jews, she says, adding that local authorities are in touch with the FBI and other federal partners after the terror onslaught in Gaza.

Jewish security organizers have also said there are no known threats to US Jews, but are urging vigilance.

Israeli forces beginning to demolish Sderot police station where terrorists holed up

Polic near the southern towns of Or haNer and Sderot, October 7, 2023. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Israeli forces are seen beginning to demolish a police station in Sderot where a number of Hamas terrorists were holed up earlier.

It is unclear how many terrorists are left inside, and how many Israeli forces were killed when Hamas stormed the station this morning.

Israeli death toll from multi-front Hamas attack rises to more than 250

Bodies lie on a main road near Kibbutz Gevim on October 7, 2023 following an attack by Hamas terrorists. (Oren ZIV / AFP)

The death toll from the Hamas terror group’s massive attack on Israel rises to more than 250, Hebrew-language media reports say, citing medical officials.

The toll is expected to continue to rise.

At least 1,450 have been wounded, many seriously.

Dozens of civilians as well as IDF soldiers are believed to have been abducted and brought into Gaza; the IDF has confirmed that soldiers and civilians have been taken hostage, but has not specified a number.

Thousands of rockets have been fired at the south and center of the country, killing a number of people.

Police to families of missing: Bring DNA samples to police stations to aid in identification

Bodies of slain Israeli civilians in the southern city of Sderot on October 7, 2023 following an attack by Hamas terrorists. (Oren ZIV / AFP)

Police call on people who have family members missing to go to the police station closest to their home with photos and DNA samples of the missing person.

Those who are located in areas where they are not able to leave their homes are asked to call 105 with details and to go to a police station when possible.

Biden offers ‘rock solid’ support for Jerusalem, warns others against joining attack on Israel

US President Joe Biden speaks about the terror attack against Israel, October 7, 2023. (Screenshot/Used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)

US President Joe Biden backs Israel’s right to self defense, warns other parties in the region against joining the attack against the Jewish state, and says he is in contact with leaders around the region.

“Today the people of Israel are under attack orchestrated by a terrorist organization, Hamas. In this moment of tragedy, I want to say to them and to the world and to terrorists everywhere, the United States stands with Israel. We will not ever fail to have their back, we’ll make sure that they’ll have the help their citizens need and they can continue to defend themselves,” Biden says in a broadcast, while flanked by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“The world has seen appalling images of thousands of rockets in a space of hours raining down on Israeli cities… Hamas terrorists crossing into Israel, killing not only Israeli soldiers but Israeli civilians in the streets, in their homes, innocent people murdered, wounded, entire families taken hostage by Hamas, just days after Israel marked the holiest of days on the Jewish calendar. It’s unconscionable.”

“Israel has the right to defend itself and its people, full stop. There’s never justification for terrorist attacks and my administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.”

“This is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage. The world is watching.”

“It’s also a terrible tragedy on a human level, hurting innocent people, seeing the lives that have been broken by this, the families torn apart. It’s heartbreaking.”

Biden says he has spoken to the king of Jordan and members of Congress, and told his national security team to engage with their Israeli counterparts for military, diplomatic and intelligence cooperation to “make sure Israel has what it needs.”

Biden has directed his team to be in constant contact with leaders around the region, including in Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority, Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, the UAE and Europe.

He says he will remain in close contact with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he spoke to earlier today.

“Let there be no mistake, the United States stands with the State of Israel,” Biden says.

MDA paramedic Aharon Haimov, father of 2, identified as among those killed; was shot in his ambulance

Aharon Haimov (Courtesy MDA)

Magen David Adom names the senior paramedic and ambulance driver who was killed this morning as Aharon Haimov.

He died after being shot in an MDA ambulance by Palestinian terrorists as he was on his way to treat victims in his hometown of Ofakim as the coordinated attack on Israel by Hamas from Gaza unfolded.

Haimov was a 25-year-old married father of two. He also leaves behind parents, siblings and an extended family.

Haimov began his career with MDA as a post-high school volunteer. He later joined the organization in a professional capacity as an emergency medicine paramedic and ambulance driver.

In a statement, MDA says that Haimov always performed his duties in an exemplary way and was the first to respond to emergency events.

“He was a person who put the good of others and the value of life ahead of everything else — including today, on this tragic morning,” says MDA director-general Eli Bin.

Gallant extends emergency situation to entire country

Israeli soldiers deploy in Sderot, Israel, on October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has decided to extend an emergency situation to the entire State of Israel, his office says.

Earlier, Gallant declared the “special situation” within a range of 80 kilometers from the Gaza Strip.

The “special situation” allows the military’s Home Front Command to restrict gatherings and close off areas.

Herzog speaks with range of world leaders offering support to Israel

President Isaac Herzog speaks during a ceremony at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on July 17, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)

President Isaac Herzog speaks with a range of world leaders who are expressing support for Israel, his office says.

According to his office, Herzog has spoken so far today with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, French President Emmanuel Macron, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President Andrjez Duda of Poland, President Fernández of Argentina, UN Secretary General Antonia Guterres, Serbian President Vučić, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, NATO Secretary General of Jens Stoltenberg and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

Blinken sends Herzog his condolences for the Israeli victims and condemns the attacks, and discusses measures to bolster Israel’s security.

National Security Council warns Israelis abroad to be on alert against attacks

The National Security Council warns Israelis living abroad to be on alert for attacks linked to the current war.

In a statement, the council warns that Simhat Torah celebrations could be a target for those looking to harm Israelis or Jews abroad.

UN’s Palestinian rights official condemns both sides after surprise terror attack

The UN Human Rights Council official tasked with investigating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict refrains from condemning Palestinian terrorists after they launch a devastating surprise attack on Israeli civilians and soldiers.

UN special rapporteur for the Palestinians Francesca Albanese says, “I unequivocally condemn attacks on civilians. Whoever launches them.”

“Today’s violence must be put into context. Almost six decades of hostile military rule over an entire civilian population… are in themselves an aggression,” Albanese says. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

Albanese has a history of antisemitism and tends to place sole blame for the conflict on Israel, which she views as a “colonial” entity.

The US, Israel and other authorities have demanded her removal due to her bias, but the UN has not taken any action against her.

Martin Griffiths, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, also hedges in his condemnation of terror.

“I am extremely alarmed by the rapidly escalating events in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. The number of civilian casualties on both sides is reportedly already in the hundreds,” he says. “Violence is never the answer. I appeal to all sides to stop the fighting immediately and protect civilians everywhere and at all times.”

The UN high commissioner for human rights, Volker Türk, condemns the terror attacks.

“I am shocked and appalled at reports this morning that hundreds, possibly thousands, of indiscriminate rockets have been fired by Palestinian armed groups towards Israel, and that at least 22 Israelis have been killed and hundreds injured,” Türk says.

More recent figures indicate at least 200 Israelis have been killed, over 1,400 wounded, and others taken hostage.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Tor Wennesland, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, both issue condemnations of the terror attacks.

Health Ministry updates number of wounded to more than 1,400

Wounded Israeli soldiers from the south arrive at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, October 7, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Health Ministry updates the toll of those wounded and hospitalized during the current war to at least 1,452.

As of 9:30 p.m., the ministry says that there are 18 people in critical condition, 267 in serious condition, 279 in moderate condition, 636 in good condition and 16 being treated for severe anxiety. Another 169 are still being evaluated by medical authorities.

More than 200 people are believed to have been killed so far.

IDF says it is carrying out fresh airstrikes in Gaza

Smoke billows from a residential building following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on October 7, 2023. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces says it is carrying out a new wave of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.

The IDF says it is hitting targets belonging to the Hamas terror group.

Further details will be provided soon, the IDF adds.

4 reported wounded in Tel Aviv, Rishon, Bat Yam in latest rocket barrage

Rockets are launched by Palestinian terror groups from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, October 7, 2023. (AP /Hatem Moussa)

In the latest rocket barrage from the Gaza Strip on central Israel, the Magen David Adom ambulance service reports four wounded.

A man is lightly hurt in Rishon Lezion; a 34-year-old woman is seriously hurt in Tel Aviv; and a 70-year-old man is moderately hurt and a 40-year-old man is lightly hurt in Bat Yam, MDA says.

Health Ministry reports over 1,000 wounded in terror onslaught

The Health Ministry says at least 1,104 people in Israel have been wounded in the Gaza terror onslaught.

The figure includes 17 people in critical condition, 200 who are severely wounded, 226 in moderate condition, and 142 who are undergoing medical assessments.

The death toll is at least 200, and is expected to rise, according to Hebrew media reports.

The IDF says an unspecified number of soldiers and civilians have been taken hostage.

Report: Bodies being removed, identified from site of large party near Re’im

Hundreds flee gunmen at a music festival near Kibbutz Re'im, October 7, 2023. (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Dozens of bodies are being removed from the scene where Israelis were massacred at a nature party near Kibbutz Re’im, Channel 12 reports.

The reporter says the sight of the dead Israelis is unbearable.

The bodies are being taken for the beginning of the process of identifying the victims, she says.

Gallant: Hamas will soon realize it made a grave mistake, and will pay a heavy price

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant gives a statement on October 7, 2023. (Elad Malka/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant threatens the Hamas terror group after it launched a murderous invasion in southern Israel today and fired thousands of rockets

“It did not distinguish between women, children, and elderly, it harmed all of them. [Hamas] will soon realize it made a grave mistake, and will pay the price,” Gallant says in a video statement.

“We will change the face of reality in Gaza 50 years ahead,” Gallant adds.

Sirens sound across central Israel as heavy volley fired from Gaza

Salvo of rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists from Gaza City toward Israel on October 7, 2023 (EYAD BABA / AFP)

Sirens sound in dozens of communities across Israel including Tel Aviv as a heavy volley of rockets is fired from Gaza.

Parents search for children who attended outdoor party attacked by terrorists

Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, hasn’t been heard from since 8:11 a.m. this morning, when he sent two messages to his parents: “I love you” and “I’m sorry.”

At the time, Goldberg-Polin’s parents, Jon Polin and Rachel Goldberg, didn’t understand the cryptic meaning of the message.

They’d last seen Hersh at 11 p.m. the previous night, after he attended Simhat Torah holiday services with them at their local Jerusalem synagogue and then joined them for dinner with family friends.

“He had a backpack and left at around 11 to join his friend,” said Polin, who didn’t know anything specific about his son’s plans.

The family is religiously observant and doesn’t usually use phones on Shabbat, but after Polin came home early from synagogue Saturday morning, the two reached out to a good friend of their son’s who confirmed that Goldberg-Polin was at an all-night “nature party” near Kibbutz Re’im.

The community is close to the Gaza Strip, in an area where Hamas terrorists attacked civilians, including at the party.

Within several hours, photos of handwritten lists began circulating on social media with the names of party attendees and the locations where some had escaped to, Polin says.

“One list said Yishuv Saad, and his name was on that list, and then it was on the Ofakim list,” Polin says. “But he wasn’t at any of those places.”

Friends were at the couple’s home all day, calling and checking with people they knew in each location, but Goldberg-Polin and his friend haven’t been found anywhere. They called hospitals in the south, including Soroka and Barzilay, without any success.

The Jerusalem police are involved, Polin says, and are taking responsibility for reporting the two missing young men to all police units. Pictures of Polin-Goldberg and his friend are also being circulated on social media.

“They think there’s still a bunch of people hiding in the area,” Polin says, adding that the mother of his son’s friend is inclined to drive down south to look for them, but he advises against it, having heard that roads are closed. “Every time we hear information, we turn over everything we can to find out anything. There’s very little we can actually do.”

IDF says it struck 2 more high-rise towers being used by Hamas in Gaza

Smoke billows from a residential building following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on October 7, 2023. (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces says it struck another two high-rise towers in the Gaza Strip, used by Hamas.

The “Palestine” building was used by a number of Hamas units, including intelligence, weapon production, and offices of senior members, the IDF says.

Another office building served as the headquarters of Hamas’s general security, the IDF says.

Earlier today, the IDF hit two other multistory buildings in the Gaza Strip that the military says housed Hamas assets.

Hamas deputy anticipates Israeli hostages will be swapped for Palestinian prisoners

Hamas commander Saleh al-Arouri (YouTube screenshot)

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of the political bureau of Hamas, calls the terror group’s onslaught against Israel an “open battle” aimed at achieving the liberation of the Palestinian people and their holy places, following the perceived “desecration” of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem — known as the Al-Aqsa compound to Muslims — by Jewish worshipers over the holiday of Sukkot.

Al-Arouri alleges plans by Israel to impose an unspecified “new reality” at the flashpoint site after the holiday. Hamas has repeatedly accused Israel of seeking to alter the sensitive status quo at the holy site as a pretext for violence.

Al-Arouri adds that Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails are “about to be freed,” anticipating the liberation of security prisoners in exchange for dozens of Israeli hostages the group has reportedly taken, including both civilians and soldiers.

Al-Arouri says some of the Israeli hostages are “senior officers.” He falsely says Hamas does not kill or harm civilians, claiming that there are videos showing how the terror group treats civilians “humanely.” Hamas terrorists slaughtered civilians in southern Israel today, took others captive, and fired hundreds of rockets at civilian population centers.

“We have a plan for all stages of this conflict,” al-Arouri says, “both in case of an Israeli request for a ceasefire, and in case of a continuing escalation of the violence. We are prepared for all options.” He adds that an Israeli ground invasion would be the “best scenario” for Hamas.

Al-Arouri also expresses his “hope and trust” that Palestinians outside Gaza will join the fight “to defend Al-Aqsa,” especially terror groups in the West Bank. Al-Arouri is considered the de facto leader of Hamas in the West Bank.

“We entered this battle not just for a few hours. We entered it knowing that there will be consequences, and we have no choice but to fight it to achieve our high goals,” he says.

He adds that Hamas is in communication with international and regional parties, and implies that it has received offers for mediation. He also accuses the US of providing financial and military aid to Ukraine but neglecting Palestinians.

Al-Arouri touches on the possible participation of Hezbollah in the attack on Israel, saying Israel is right to fear violence on the Lebanese front in the north, claiming that Israel occupies part of Lebanon’s territory.

Netanyahu offers Lapid, Gantz to join him in emergency unity government

Yair Lapid (L), Benny Gantz (C) and Benjamin Netanyahu (R) (Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposes that opposition parties Yesh Atid and National Unity enter an emergency government following Hamas’s devastating surprise attack Saturday morning.

Netanyahu makes the offer during a meeting with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and National Unity party leader Benny Gantz held earlier today, saying such a government would be the same in format as the Levi Eshkol government then-opposition leader Menachem Begin joined before the Six Day War in 1967.

Gantz says he is considering entering such a government for the duration of the war but insists that government would “deal with security challenges alone” and in a manner that would allow “substantive partnership and influence over decision-making in relevant forums” for his party.

The National Unity party leader tells Netanyahu that regardless, the current government will receive full backing “for any responsible and determined security action.”

Lapid said earlier this evening that he would join “a reduced, professional, emergency government” and says it would be impossible to manage a war with “the extreme and dysfunctional composition of the current cabinet,” essentially calling on the prime minister to remove the far-right Religious Zionism and Otzma Yehudit parties from the government in order for him to bring his Yesh Atid party into the coalition.

Hamas-run health ministry says 232 killed in Gaza since start of terror group assault on Israel

The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip says 232 Palestinians have been killed and another 1,697 have been wounded in the Gaza Strip since the start of the violence this morning.

Israeli death toll from devastating Hamas attack rises to more than 200

Israeli rescue teams evacuate a wounded person near the southern city of Sderot on October 7, 2023, after the Palestinian terror group Hamas launched a large-scale surprise attack on Israel. (Menahem KAHANA / AFP)

The death toll from the Hamas terror group’s massive attack on Israel rises to more than 200, Hebrew-language media reports say.

The toll is expected to rise higher.

At least 1,100 have been wounded, many seriously.

Hundreds of Hamas gunmen infiltrated into Israel this morning, crossing at multiple points and overwhelming what the IDF considered to be the highly sophisticated border fence.

Hamas claims to have abducted dozens of Israelis to Gaza; the IDF has confirmed that soldiers and civilians have been taken hostage, but has not specified a number.

Thousands of rockets have been fired at the south and center of the country, killing a number of people.

9 wounded in Rishon Lezion, Tel Aviv, Bat Yam and Yavne during rocket barrage

Salvo of rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists from Gaza City toward Israel on October 7, 2023 (EYAD BABA / AFP)

The Hamas rocket barrage on central Israel a short while ago has wounded at least nine civilians, medics say.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said in Rishon Lezion, medics treated two men aged 28 who were seriously hurt.

In Yavne, a 73-year-old woman was seriously hurt and a 77-year-old man was lightly hurt, MDA says.

In Bat Yam, a 24-year-old man was moderately hurt, MDA says.

In Tel Aviv, four people were wounded, including one in moderate condition, MDA adds.

The victims are being taken to hospitals in the area.

Hamas claimed to have launched 150 rockets from the Gaza Strip at Tel Aviv in the barrage.

Anti-overhaul protest groups announce aid effort for Israeli residents near Gaza border

Anti-overhaul protesters rally against the government's judicial overhaul in Tel Aviv, August 5, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

A coalition of organizations behind the anti-judicial overhaul protests announce a general aid effort for residents of Israeli communities near the Gaza border, including hosting for citizens fleeing the fighting, transportation services, equipment logistics, assistance from mental health professionals, and more.

“At this difficult hour for our brothers and sisters in the south and the entire Jewish nation, the protest organizations are putting their complete organizational infrastructure and logistical capabilities toward the aid and support of the residents in the line of fire,” the organizations say in a social media notice.

The organizations also call for a freeze on all protest activities until further notice and said that while the “gigantic failure” of the security establishment in regards to the surprise Hamas attack must be addressed, “at this time all efforts must be directed toward aid of the southern residents, IDF soldiers and security forces.”

IDF hits Hamas terror targets in airstrikes

The Israel Defense Forces says it is carrying out a new wave of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.

The IDF says it is hitting targets belonging to the Hamas terror group.

Further details will be provided soon, the IDF adds.

White House slams Republican ‘disinformation’ blaming Biden administration for Hamas attack on Israel

US President Joe Biden walks towards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to New York for the United Nations General Assembly. (AP/Andrew Harnik)

The White House slams a Republican “disinformation” campaign blaming the Biden administration for today’s Hamas attack on Israel.

Prominent Republican lawmakers as well as former president Donald Trump have claimed the US deal to release hostages from Iran gave Tehran access to funds that it is using to support Hamas.

“Not a single cent from these funds has been spent, and when it is spent, it can only be spent on things like food and medicine for the Iranian people,” says White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson.

“These funds have absolutely nothing to do with the horrific attacks today and this is not the time to spread disinformation,” she adds.

2 seriously wounded in Rishon Lezion rocket attack

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says it has received reports of two seriously wounded in a rocket impact in Rishon Lezion.

MDA says its medics are checking the scene, along with rocket impact sites in Yavne, Givatayim, Bat Yam, Beit Dagan, and Tel Aviv.

Israeli death toll from Hamas war rises to more than 150

An Israeli soldier stands by the bodies of people killed by Palestinian terrorists who entered from the Gaza Strip, in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)

The death toll from the Hamas terror group’s war on Israel rises to more than 150, Hebrew-language media cite medical officials as saying.

The Health Ministry says 1,104 people have been wounded in the attacks, which included Hamas terrorists infiltrating into Israel and gunning down soldiers and civilians. Others were wounded in rocket attacks.

The death toll is expected to rise higher.

Graphic content: The bodies of Israeli civilians lie covered in the southern city of Sderot on October 7, 2023, amid an unprecedented infiltration into Israel by hundreds of gunmen from the Hamas terrorist organization from Gaza. (Oren ZIV / AFP)

Hundreds of Hamas gunmen infiltrated into Israel this morning, crossing at multiple points, overwhelming what the IDF considered to be the highly sophisticated border fence.

Thirteen hours after the start of the attacks, there are reported to still be 22 “active” areas in southern Israel, where gunmen are still active or feared to be in the field.

Hamas claims to have abducted dozens of Israelis to Gaza; the IDF has confirmed that soldiers and civilians have been taken hostage, but has not specified a number.

Rocket barrage fired at Tel Aviv area after Hamas threat

Rockets are again fired at Tel Aviv and surrounding areas after Hamas threatened to target the area.

Sirens sound in Rehovot, Nes Ziona, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Ramat Gan, Yavneh, Rishon Lezion, Givatayim, Ramat Hasharon, Petah Tikva, Kiryat Ono, Bnei Brak, Givat Shmuel, Beer Ya’akov, Ramla, Holon, Mikve Israel, Bat Yam.

Loud explosions are heard over Tel Aviv.

There are no immediate reports of casualties.

Earlier, Hamas threatened to target Tel Aviv after the IDF bombed two high-rise towers in the Gaza Strip that were used to house Hamas assets.

IDF said to hit Gaza home of Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar amid terror group assault

Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas in Gaza, delivers a speech during a meeting with people at a hall on the sea side of Gaza City, April 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Palestinian media outlets report that the Israeli Air Force bombed the home of Yahya Sinwar, the head of the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip.

There is no further information on the strike, or confirmation by Israel.

Israel cuts electricity supply to Gaza

Energy Minister Israel Katz signs an order instructing the Israel Electric Corporation to cut the supply of electricity to Gaza.

“It’s not going to be how it was,” Katz says in a statement.

Gaza largely relies on Israel and fuel imports for its power.

Turkey declines to condemn Hamas as it calls for restoration of calm in region

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry declines to condemn Hamas or say the word “terrorism,” saying only that they “are deeply concerned about the violence and tension occurred [sic] in Israel and Palestine today.”

“We attach high importance to the restoration of calm in the region as soon as possible, and strongly condemn the loss of civilian lives. We underline that acts of violence and associated escalations will not benefit anyone, and call on the parties to act with restraint and avoid impulsive steps.”

Ankara also urges “the parties” to work toward a two-state solution.

Thousands of units of blood donated; MDA says drive paused

Hundreds in line at the Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv to donate blood, October 7, 2023 (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Magen David Adom thanks the Israeli public for its huge response to the call for blood donations for treating war victims at Israel’s hospitals. Thousands of units of blood were donated at the many MDA donation sites around the country.

As of 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, MDA says it has enough blood supply for the time being and has asked people to hold off on donating until tomorrow or later in the week.

At Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv alone, 650 individuals showed up to donate blood. Overwhelmed by the turnout, Ichilov announced that it had closed its blood donation station until further notice.

For information on where to donate blood around the country, check the MDA website.

IDF regains control of Re’im military base from Hamas terrorists in southern Israel

The Israel Defense Forces has regained control of the Re’im military base in southern Israel, which houses the Gaza Division, from Hamas terrorists, according to Hebrew-language media reports.

Earlier, the IDF said it was fighting Hamas terrorists at 22 different locations in southern Israel.

The military has been sweeping the towns where the terrorists infiltrated, reaching civilians who have been holed up for more than 12 hours.

UN envoy calls on Security Council to condemn Hamas: ‘Zero tolerance for terror group’s war crimes, genocidal agenda’

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan addresses the General Assembly on January 20, 2022. (Screen capture)

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan sends a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Sérgio França Danese, the Brazilian diplomat who holds the Security Council presidency this month, calling on the Security Council to immediately condemn Hamas.

“It is now time for the international community including the Security Council to unequivocally condemn the appalling terror attacks carried out by Hamas and all terrorist organizations against the civilians of Israel,” Erdan writes.

“Israel expects and demands the solidarity and support of all those in the international community who oppose this barbaric terrorism and the targeting of innocent men, women and children for slaughter. It will not tolerate moral equivalence between those defending against this terrorism and those perpetrating it. There can be no option other than zero tolerance for Hamas’ war crimes and genocidal agenda.”

Erdan also places blame on Iran for, in his words, funding and directing Hamas.

“The State of Israel will act in any way necessary to protect its citizens and sovereignty from the ongoing terrorist attacks originating from the Gaza Strip and carried out by Hamas and other terrorist organizations,” he writes. “We will not stand idly by as Israelis are attacked and killed.”

US defense chief Austin speaks with Gallant, reaffirms Pentagon commitment to Israel’s security

Left: Defense Minister Yoav Gallant during a ceremony at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, January 1, 2023; Right: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, November 16, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90; AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant just got off the phone with his US counterpart Lloyd Austin during which the latter “reaffirmed that the [Pentagon’s] commitment to Israel’s security and its absolute right to defend itself from acts of terrorism is unwavering.”

“Secretary Austin has directed his team to ensure that DoD is closely consulting with all of our Allies and partners who share a commitment to peace and oppose terrorism,” the US readout says. “Secretary Austin will continue to consult with Minister Gallant in the coming days and weeks to ensure that Israel has the support it needs.”

IDF says troops have killed hundreds of terrorists

Screenshot from footage released by IDF showing strikes on terrorists near Gaza, on October 7, 2023. (Screenshot/IDF)

The Israel Defense Forces claims to have killed hundreds of Palestinian terrorists in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip in the last few hours.

Among the counter-attacks is a drone strike against two terrorists attempting to breach the security barrier near the disused Karni crossing; nine terrorists killed during clashes with troops in the town of Nirim; and four terrorists targeted by a fighter jet at the Erez Crossing.

Other terror squads were killed by troops in the southern towns of Sufa, Kfar Aza, and Kerem Shalom, the IDF says.

The IDF also carried out several drone strikes against terrorists in the area.

The military publishes footage showing one of the strikes near the southern town of Be’eri.

4 Hamas terrorists holding two Israelis hostage for hours in Ofakim apartment

Four terrorists are still holding two Israelis hostage in an apartment in Ofakim, some 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the Gaza border.

The incident has been playing out all day, since several carloads of terrorists drove into the city, Channel 12 reports.

When rocket alarms sounded, and residents of the city descended into bomb shelters, the gunmen opened fire on them, killing several people. Many terrorists have been killed in the hours since.

Four terrorists went up into an apartment in the city, where two Israelis remained, and they have been holding them hostage ever since.

Security forces have made several attempts to find a way to break in and rescue them, but to no avail thus far.

Magen David Adom’s Shai Kadosh says two people he knows were killed in the city during the day and that he and his colleagues have been treating casualties all day.

Hamas claims to be holding dozens of Israeli soldiers, officers in Gaza Strip

Palestinians drive a captured Israeli military vehicle in Gaza City on Oct. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

The Hamas terror group says it is holding hostage dozens of Israeli soldiers and officers in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement, Hamas claims the captives “have been secured in safe places and resistance tunnels.”

Health Ministry says all elective medical services cancelled in south, center hospitals on Sunday

In light of the high number of injuries due to the war, the Health Ministry announces that all ambulatory and elective medical services will be canceled on Sunday at hospitals within 80 km of the Gaza border. Well-baby clinics will also be closed within that area.

Some hospitals in the center of the country, including Hadassah in Jerusalem and Meir in Kfar Saba, have also announced that they will only accept patients in need of urgent medical care.

Hospitals throughout the country will continue to provide critical and timely care, such as oncological and hematological treatments, dialysis, in vitro fertilization treatment, and emergency cardiological procedures.

If patients are scheduled for a hospital procedure or clinic visit on Monday, they should double-check with the hospital whether they should come in or not.

The Meuhedet health maintenance organization has asked its members to seek service from their primary physicians via hybrid (online) medicine appointments as much as possible.

All medical system employees have been ordered to cancel plans to travel outside the country, and all medical staff currently outside Israel have been asked to return.

UN Security Council to hold emergency meeting amid Hamas attack on Israel

A general view of a United Nations security council meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on March 20, 2023. (Ed Jones/AFP)

The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday on the violence in the Middle East, the body said in a statement issued after deadly attacks by Hamas terrorists on Israel.

The council will convene Sunday at 3:00 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) to discuss “the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question,” according to a statement.

The meeting will be closed to the press and public.

EU statement on behalf of member states: Bloc condemns Hamas attack ‘in the strongest possible terms’

Josep Borrell, the high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, speaks with members of the European parliament March 14, 2023, in Strasbourg, France. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

The European Union “condemns in the strongest possible terms” the Hamas attacks on Israel, and stressed Israel’s right to self defense.

“The EU calls for an immediate cessation of these senseless attacks and violence,” says EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in a statement issued on behalf of all 27 member states, “which will only further increase tensions on the ground and seriously undermine Palestinian people’s aspirations for peace.”

Borrell says the EU “stands in solidarity with Israel which has the right to defend itself in line with international law, in the face of such violent and indiscriminate attacks.”

Man says he saw wife, 2 young children, mother-in-law in Gaza video of hostages

Screenshot said to show members of an Israeli family being kidnapped by Hamas and taken to Gaza, October 7, 2023. (Channel 12 screenshot)

A man says his wife, two young children and mother-in-law have been taken to Gaza and that he has seen them in a video from the coastal enclave.

Yoni Asher tells Channel 12 news that his wife and children aged three and five were visiting his mother-in-law at Kibbutz Nir Oz near the Gaza border when they were taken during an infiltration by Hamas terrorists.

Earlier this afternoon, he told the outlet that he had not spoken to his family for a number of hours but that he had tracked his wife’s phone to the Gaza Strip.

Asher issued desperate pleas for help in finding his family, speaking to multiple outlets in the hope that he could get the message out.

“I have seen my wife’s phone in [Gaza city] Khan Yunis,” he told the Kan public broadcaster. “I contacted the police, the Home Front Command and I don’t know what’s going on. I need your help so that I can contact my wife, my daughters and my mother-in-law.”

Israeli activists in US raise funds, coordinate hosts for canceled flights

Israeli activists in the US launch a crowdfunding campaign to assist residents of southern Israel.

The activists from the anti-overhaul protest movement leverage their network of thousands of Israelis and US Jews in the US to respond to the Palestinian terror onslaught in Israel.

The funds will go to medical, psychological and physical support for the victims, the campaign says.

“We join hands to support the needs of Israelis under attack. This is what we can do from here now,” organizers say. “This is exactly the same solidarity from which we stand in rallies every week.”

All protest activities are suspended.

With some flights to Israel canceled, the activists are also organizing local hosts who can house Israelis who are unable to return home.

Activists from the UnXeptable protest group urge Israelis who are in the US and need assistance to contact them.

An open support gathering will take place at the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan at 76th Street and Amsterdam Ave. between 2-4 p.m. this afternoon.

The Israeli consulate in New York also says it is accepting all offers of help and support.

US Jewish security group urges vigilance, says no known threats

The Secure Community Network, which coordinates security for Jewish communities in North America, urges vigilance but says there are no known threats to US Jews related to the terror onslaught in Israel.

The group says it is coordinating security measures with law enforcement and other partners.

“SCN recommends Jewish facilities review and enforce security protocols, and maintain coordination with law enforcement,” the group says in a statement.

Police in the New York town of Ramapo, which has a significant Jewish population, increase patrols to “ensure our residents’ safety during this crisis,” town supervisor Michael Specht says.

IDF strikes 2 high-rise towers in Gaza used to house Hamas assets; terror group threatens Tel Aviv

The Israel Defense Forces says it carried out airstrikes against two high-rise towers in the Gaza Strip that were used to house Hamas assets.

“The Hamas terrorist organization deliberately places its military assets in the heart of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF says.

“Prior to the strike, the IDF provided advance warning to the occupants of the building and asked them to evacuate,” the military adds.

The Hamas terror group threatens to launch rockets at Tel Aviv in response to the IDF strikes on the towers.

Opposition Leader Lapid urges emergency government, says PM can’t manage war with current extreme cabinet

Yesh Atid head MK Yair Lapid speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv on September 20, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid calls for an “emergency government” to manage “the difficult and complex operation ahead of us” after more than 100 Israelis have been killed, close to 1,000 wounded and an unknown number of soldiers and civilians abducted by Hamas terrorists into Gaza.

“The State of Israel is at war. It won’t be easy and it won’t be short. It has strategic consequences which we haven’t seen for many years. There is a serious risk that it will become a multi-front war,” Lapid says in an announcement.

“A short while ago, I met with Prime Minister Netanyahu. I told him that in this emergency situation I’m willing to put aside our differences and form an emergency, narrow, professional government with him to manage the difficult and complex operation ahead of us.”

Netanyahu, he says, “knows that with the current extreme and dysfunctional security cabinet, he can’t manage a war. Israel needs to be led by a professional, experienced, and responsible government. I have no doubt that former Defense Minister [Benny] Gantz would also join a government like this.”

“Forming an emergency professional government will make clear to our enemies that the vast majority of Israeli citizens stand behind the IDF and security forces. It will make clear to the world, in the international community, that the people of Israel stand united against this threat,” says Lapid.

“The State of Israel suffered a hard blow today. We are all hurting, we are all angry. However, wars and countries aren’t managed with pain and anger but with calm and a strategic understanding of the situation. We need to put politics to one side for the sake of an emergency government that will manage this situation with determination and won’t deal with anything else until we achieve victory over our enemies.”

Lapid made his offer for an emergency government in person to Netanyahu after receiving a security update, says a source close to the opposition leader.

The source says that “the offer is real, this isn’t a political thing. The offer is there.”

Netanyahu has not responded and a source close to Lapid declines to comment if fellow opposition party head, National Unity leader Gantz, was consulted before or after the unity government offer was made.

Gallant speaks with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, thanks him for US support

Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant speaks with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, his office says.

“The IDF and defense establishment are currently operating to defeat the enemy and to defend our citizens. We are prepared to widen our operations,” Gallant tells Austin.

During the call, which was requested by Secretary Austin, Gallant details recent events in Israel and operations carried out by the IDF and defense establishment, his office says.

Gallant says Israel is currently at war, and has been facing terror attacks against its citizens since this morning – this includes men, women, children and elderly individuals.

“The State of Israel will win this war, and Hamas will be held responsible for its actions,” his office says.

Gallant thanks Austin and the US Administration for their support for Israel.

985 injured in massive Hamas attacks on Israel, Health Ministry says

Israeli rescue teams evacuate a wounded person near the southern city of Sderot on October 7, 2023, after the Palestinian terror group Hamas launched a large-scale surprise attack on Israel, firing a barrage of rockets from Gaza and sending ground units to kill or abduct Israelis. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)

The Health Ministry says that at least 985 people have been wounded and taken to hospitals in today’s unprecedented attack by Hamas terrorists on Israel.

US ‘ready to offer all appropriate means of support’ to Israel, Biden tells Netanyahu

US President Joe Biden says he told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on their phone call earlier today, “we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the government and people of Israel.”

“Terrorism is never justified. Israel has a right to defend itself and its people. The United States warns against any other party hostile to Israel seeking advantage in this situation. My administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering,” Biden says in a statement condemning this morning’s surprise Hamas attack on southern and central Israel.

“Jill and I are keeping in our prayers all of the families who have been hurt by this violence. We are heartbroken by the lives that have been tragically cut short and hope for a swift recovery for all those who have been wounded,” he adds.

“My team and I are tracking this situation closely, and I will remain in close touch with Prime Minister Netanyahu,” Biden says.

UN chief ‘appalled’ by attacks, abductions of Israelis by Hamas in massive assault

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned Hamas’s surprise attack on southern and central Israel this morning.

“The secretary-general is appalled by reports that civilians have been attacked and abducted from their own homes,” says a statement from his spokesperson.

Guterres “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.”

“The secretary-general urges all diplomatic efforts to avoid a wider conflagration,” the statement continues. “He stresses that violence cannot provide a solution to the conflict, and that only through negotiation leading to a two-state solution can peace be achieved.”

Israeli TV shows pixelated videos of Israelis being taken as hostages to Gaza by Hamas

Israelis being kidnapped and taken into Gaza by Hamas terrorists, October 7, 2023, as seen in pixelated videos from social media screened on Israeli television. (Channel 12 screenshot)

Now that the IDF has confirmed that Israeli civilians and soldiers have been kidnapped and taken as hostages to Gaza, Israeli television is showing heavily pixelated clips that have been running for hours on social media.

Israelis being kidnapped and taken into Gaza by Hamas terrorists, October 7, 2023, as seen in pixelated videos from social media screened on Israeli television. (Channel 12 screenshot)

The clips appear to show Israelis being abducted on foot and in vehicles, and were apparently filmed inside Israel and inside Gaza.

Many of the clips are too gruesome to broadcast.

Israelis being kidnapped and taken into Gaza by Hamas terrorists, October 7, 2023, as seen in pixelated videos from social media screened on Israeli television (Channel 12 screenshot)

Senior firefighters among 100 killed in Hamas attacks on Israel

The Israel Fire and Rescue Services say the head of the Kiryat Gat station, Cpt. Shalom Tzaban, and a senior firefighter from the Netivot station, Yevgeny Galsky, were among those killed in the Hamas terrorist attack on southern Israel October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)

The Israel Fire and Rescue Services say the head of the Kiryat Gat station, Cpt. Shalom Tzaban, and a senior firefighter from the Netivot station, Yevgeny Galsky, were among those killed in the Hamas terrorist attack on southern Israel today.

Tzaban, 60, a father of two, was drafted into the fire service in 1992. He is posthumously promoted to the rank of Deputy Fire Chief.

Galsky, 34, joined the force three years ago. He is posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant Firefighter.

Hamas never dreamed of such success, like 9/11 for Israel, says Mideast analyst

Middle East analyst Avi Issacharoff tells The Times of Israel on Saturday that the unprecedented assault on Israel by land, sea and air is an inadvertent benchmark for the Israel-Hamas relations, as significant as the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US.

“I think that they wanted to kidnap a few people, to negotiate over them, and not to get into the threat of their collapse — of their ending” — that this coordinated attack will inevitably bring, Issacharoff says. “Everyone knows that Gaza will pay a very heavy price.”

Any former policies of cooperation with the Gaza-based terrorist organization are “not even relevant anymore,” he says, and negotiations “under or over the table” will no longer take place.

Asked whether he believes Israel’s northern border will become another front in the current war, he says it is as yet unclear whether Hezbollah is planning a coordinated attack.

“Either they’re going to jump in and be very stupid, or not,” he says.

“Starting another front with Israel may bring more [Israeli] casualties… but at the end of the day, we might end up with the end of Hamas and Hezbollah.”

“It’s the 9/11 [for Israel], and if this doesn’t go into a major ground operation, it’s the end of this government’s political life,” says Issacharoff.

IDF confirms Hamas has taken Israeli hostages to Gaza Strip, soldiers killed in fighting

Palestinians drive a captured Israeli military vehicle in Gaza City on Oct. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

The Israel Defense Forces’ top spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, confirms the Hamas terror group has taken Israelis as hostages to the Gaza Strip.

In a briefing with reporters, Hagari says Israeli soldiers have also been killed in the fighting.

No numbers are given on the number of hostages or soldiers killed.

Hagari says there are still 22 locations of ongoing fighting in southern Israel, including hostage situations in Be’eri and Ofakim.

He says Israeli troops have reached all towns on the Gaza border, and are working to scan each and every one.

Four divisions are being deployed to the Gaza border, joining 31 battalions that are already there, Hagari says.

Several injured in clashes between Israeli forces, terrorists at Sderot police station — report

An Israeli soldier stands next to a vehicle used by Hamas terrorists in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, October 7, 2023. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)

Several are injured in clashes between Israeli forces and suspected terrorists inside and outside a police station in the southern city of Sderot, Channel 12 reports.

Massive amounts of gunfire and explosions are heard in the area.

Gantz: All of Israel united, government has full support; Israel can be surprised but not beaten

File: National Unity party head Benny Gantz gives a statement. (Video screenshot)

Benny Gantz, the leader of the opposition National Unity party, pledges support for the security and emergency forces and says Israel is “completely unified.”

“I want to say clearly, in a way that resonates from Gaza, via Beirut, to Tehran: The entire people of Israel are united,” he says. “All Israel’s citizens stand behind the security forces, and the government has the backing to charge a heavy, painful and effective price in order that an event like this is not repeated.”

“There is no coalition and opposition now,” Gantz adds, “just a single fist that will pound the enemy.”

He says all those involved in this attack are destined to die, and that any other terror groups that decide to take part “will be making a terrible mistake.”

“It must be honestly said: the results of this attack are grave. Soon, some of the rumors will be confirmed as bad and painful news for us all. I send my condolences to the families of the fallen… and pray for the recovery of all the injured.”

He hails the bravery of civilians, the emergency services and soldiers. “Israel can be taken by surprise, but it cannot be beaten, as we will prove this time as well,” Gantz says.

Blinken: Washington ‘unequivocally condemns’ appalling attacks by Hamas terrorists

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken says Washington “unequivocally condemns the appalling attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israel, including civilians and civilian communities.”

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

“We will remain in close contact with our Israeli partners. The United States supports Israel’s right to defend itself,” Blinken says in a statement.

Biden calls Netanyahu, says US stands by Israel; PM warns of ‘prolonged, powerful campaign’ to win

US President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and stressed that the US stands by Israel and fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself, the Israeli premier’s office says.

Netanyahu thanked Biden for his support and told him that a “prolonged and powerful campaign would be required in which Israel would win,” the Israeli readout says.

Macron says France ‘stands by Israel and Israelis’ in ongoing massive attack from Hamas

French President Emmanuel Macron tweets in Hebrew in support of Israel.

“I spoke with President Herzog and Prime Minister Netanyahu,” he writes.

“I condemn the terror attacks from Gaza against Israel, its soldiers and citizens.

“France stands by Israel and Israelis, supports their security and their right to defend themselves.”

Trump: Hamas assault on Israel a ‘disgrace,’ US taxpayer dollars ‘helped fund these attacks’

Former US president Donald Trump weighs in on the ongoing Hamas attack on Israel, calling them a “disgrace” and asserting that Israel “has every right to defend itself with overwhelming force.”

“Sadly, American taxpayer dollars helped fund these attacks, which many reports are saying came from the Biden Administration,” he says, ostensibly blaming US policy on Iran for today’s attacks.

“We brought so much peace to the Middle East through the Abraham Accords, only to see Biden whittle it away at a far more rapid pace than anyone thought possible. Here we go again,” Trump says in a statement.

White House says Biden briefed on Hamas assault on southern Israel

The White House says US President Joe Biden has been briefed by senior national security officials regarding the ongoing Hamas aerial and ground assault on towns in southern and central Israel.

“The president will continue to receive updates and White House officials remain in close contact with Israeli partners,” the White House Press Office says in a statement.

IDF says dozens of Palestinian terrorists killed in attempt to infiltrate from the sea this morning

The Israeli Navy killed dozens of Palestinian terrorists who attempted to infiltrate into Israel this morning, the military says.

“Forces conducted a naval pursuit and targeted dozens of terrorists after they attempted to infiltrate into Israeli territory,” the Israel Defense Forces says in a statement, publishing a video of the incident.

“The soldiers opened fire toward the terrorists and thwarted dozens of them, as well as two rubber boats and two additional vessels,” the IDF adds.

9 Hamas terrorists killed in the southern town of Nirim, near Gaza

Israeli troops killed nine Hamas terrorists in the southern town of Nirim, close to the border with the Gaza Strip, Army Radio reports.

The Israel Defense Forces has been fighting Palestinian gunmen in Israeli territory since early this morning.

At least 900 wounded in massive Hamas attack on Israel

The Health Ministry says so far 908 injured people have been taken to hospitals for treatment in the ongoing terror attack by Hamas on southern and central Israel.

At least 100 have been killed in the unprecedented assault, authorities say.

Over 100 killed in Hamas onslaught on southern Israel; toll expected to rise

An Israeli soldier stands by the bodies of people killed by Palestinian terrorists who entered from the Gaza Strip, in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov)

The death toll from the Hamas terror group’s attack on Israel rises to more than 100, Hebrew-language media cite medical officials as saying.

The number is seen as certain to rise further.

Some 800 people have been wounded in the attacks, which have included hundreds of Hamas terrorists infiltrating into Israel and gunning down soldiers and civilians. Others were wounded in rocket attacks.

Hamas claims to have captured many Israeli captives, ‘including senior officers’

Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri tells Al Jazeera that the group has captured “a big number” of Israelis. He says “senior officers” are among them.

These claims have not been confirmed or verified by Israel.

Hamas-run ministry in Gaza says 198 Palestinians killed since start of terror group’s assault

The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip says 198 Palestinians have been killed and another 1,610 have been wounded since the start of the escalation this morning.

Rocket fire continues toward south as IDF focuses on Hamas terrorists in Israeli territory

Smoke billows in Ashkelon on October 7, 2023, as barrages of rockets were fired from the Palestinian enclave into Israeli territory (AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

Sporadic rocket fire continues against towns close to the border with the Gaza Strip.

The rate of rocket fire from Gaza appears to have slowed in the last hour, with sirens sounding in several communities.

The Israeli military is still focusing on fighting Hamas terrorists still in Israeli territory.

Ra’am leader Abbas urges Arab community not to respond to incitement, calls for unity

Ra'am party head MK Mansour Abbas leads a faction meeting, at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on June 12, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Ra’am’s Mansour Abbas urges Arab Israelis not to respond to rumors or incitement

Abbas, leader of the Islamist Ra’am party, is the first Arab Israeli political leader to publish a statement reacting to the ongoing deadly Hamas assault on Israel.

The party leader writes in Hebrew: “In light of the sad, tragic events since this morning, and the situation assessments saying that the situation may devolve into a regional war, I call on Arab citizens of Israel and on all citizens, Arabs and Jews alike, to exert restraint and behave responsibly and patiently, to obey the law and maintain public order.”

“I urge [Arab Israeli citizens] to restrain from any type of violence or damage to public or private property, and not respond to rumors or incitement aimed at causing an escalation inside or outside Arab towns, or in mixed cities.”

Abbas further calls for unity and mutual support and to give hospitality to families fleeing the areas under attack, particularly in the Negev and in unrecognized villages, many of which are not equipped with anti-rocket shelters.

Kibbutz Be’eri resident hears ‘lots of gunfire’ amid unconfirmed reports of hostages held there

Ella, a resident of Kibbutz Be’eri, tells Channel 12 that she is in a safe room at her home in the kibbutz and is hearing “lots of gunfire” nearby.

She speaks amid unconfirmed reports that Hamas gunmen are holding hostages at the kibbutz dining hall.

Meanwhile, another resident of the south says his wife and daughters have disappeared, and that he has traced his wife’s phone — which doesn’t answer — to Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. He says he fears his family has been kidnapped to Gaza.

Hamas claims to have kidnapped dozens of Israeli civilians and soldiers to Gaza.

These reports are not officially confirmed by Israel. Channel 12 news reports, however, that Hamas has kidnapped men and women, young and old, civilians and soldiers to the Gaza Strip. The infiltration is proving “far more successful” from Hamas’s perspective than it would have expected, the TV station’s Ohad Hemo says, and Hamas almost certainly doesn’t know itself how many Israelis it has kidnapped.

In turn, though, Hemo says, the Israeli response in Gaza is likely to be much more far-reaching than Hamas would have expected.

Iranian officials praise Hamas attack on Israel: ‘A proud operation’

Gazans celebrate by a destroyed Israeli tank at the broken Israel-Gaza border fence, east of Khan Younis, October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Yousef Masoud)

A senior adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expresses support for an attack Hamas launched against Israel, calling it a “proud operation.”

“We support the proud operation of Al-Aqsa Flood,” Yahya Rahim Safavi says at a meeting held in support of Palestinian children in Tehran, quoted by ISNA news agency.

“We support this operation, and we are sure that the resistance front also supports this issue,” says Safavi, who is a senior general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Safavi expressed backing for the Palestinian terrorists “until the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem.”

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani also hailed the Palestinian terror assault on Israel.

“Today’s operation marked a new page in the field of resistance and armed operations against the occupiers,” he says.

“The resistance has so far achieved brilliant victories during this operation, and this is a bright spot in the history of the Palestinian people’s struggle against the Zionists.”

At a parliament session on Saturday, Iranian lawmakers chanted “Down with Israel,” “Down with America,” and “Welcome Palestine,” according to a video published by Tasnim news agency.

Iran, which hosted leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in June, considers Israel its arch-enemy.

A number of airlines cancel flights to Israel amid widespread Hamas attack

German airline Lufthansa is cutting flights to Israel following a wave of Palestinian attacks, a spokesman tells AFP.

“Given the current security situation in Tel Aviv,” Lufthansa will maintain a single flight to Frankfurt but “all other Lufthansa flights to and from Tel Aviv have been canceled for this Saturday.”

The Walla news site says Swiss Air, Austrian Airlines and Turkish Airlines are among the companies to cancel flights to and from Israel.

Police say forces clashed with rioting Palestinians in East Jerusalem refugee camp earlier today

Police say forces clashed with Palestinians in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem earlier today.

According to police, amid the rioting, officers shot at a gunman who opened fire toward the forces.

No Israeli officers are hurt, police say.

US defense chief: ‘We’ll ensure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself, protect civilians from terror’

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrives for talks with Estonia's prime minister in Tallinn, Estonia, on February 16, 2023. (RAIGO PAJULA / AFP)

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says 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, and I extend my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this abhorrent attack on civilians,” Austin says in a statement.

9 hours since start of Hamas assault, terrorists still in a number of Israeli communities

Palestinians drive a captured Israeli military vehicle in Gaza City on Oct. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Over nine hours since the Hamas terror group launched a deadly assault on Israel with terrorists infiltrating from land, air and sea, there are still gunmen in a number of Israeli communities.

In addition, there is still near-continuous rocket fire — while the center of the country was targeted by projectiles earlier in the day, the fire is now mainly toward southern towns.

IDF says it carried out drone strike on Hamas cell near Gaza border crossing

The Israel Defense Forces says it carried out a drone strike against a Hamas terror cell near the Erez border crossing with the Gaza Strip.

Footage published by the IDF shows several more airstrikes against Hamas terrorists in southern Israel earlier today.

Saudi Arabia calls for ‘halt to escalation between the two sides’ amid deadly Hamas assault

Saudi Arabia calls for an “immediate halt to the escalation between the two sides, the protection of civilians, and restraint” amid the ongoing assault by the Hamas terror group.

Riyadh says it ‘repeatedly warned’ of an explosive situation with Palestinians.

In a statement, the Kingdom recalls its “repeated warnings of the danger of the explosion of the situation, as a result of the continued occupation, the deprivation of the Palestinian people of their legitimate rights, and the repetition of systematic provocations against its sanctities.”

The Saudi Foreign Ministry further calls on the international community to lead a “credible peace process” to achieve a two-state solution.

The kingdom has been conducting negotiations to achieve a normalization deal with Israel. According to recent leaks, the Saudi negotiators, while insisting on concessions for the Palestinians, do not see the creation of a Palestinian state as a precondition for a possible deal.

Netanyahu and Biden expected to speak in the next hour

US President Joe Biden, right, meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, Wednesday, September 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden are expected to speak in the next hour amid a massive and deadly attack by the Hamas terror group on Israel.

Dozens have been killed and hundreds wounded as terrorists infiltrated from Gaza into Israeli towns, and thousands of rockets were launched at the south and center of the country.

Herzog calls on international community to stand with Israel after Hamas attack

President Isaac Herzog speaks during a ceremony at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on July 17, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)

President Isaac Herzog calls for the international community to unite in its condemnation of Hamas after the Gaza-based terror group launched a deadly attack.

“Today we saw the true face of Hamas. A terrorist army whose only goal is the cold-blooded murder of innocent men, women, and children. Supported and directed by their proxy commanders in Iran, they carried out an unprovoked, heinous attack against the Jewish state on a Jewish holy day. Innocent civilians were massacred and wounded, and many are still under attack,” Herzog says in a statement.

“The State of Israel will take all measures necessary to eliminate this clear and immediate danger to our citizens. Israel will overcome in the face of all challenges,” he says.

“I call upon the family of nations – this war waged against us marks a line in the sand. Now is the time to hear clear, unequivocal condemnation of Hamas, its allies, and its backers in Iran. Now is the time to stand firm with Israel in support of its just and moral battle in the face of an abhorrent enemy,” he says.

After massive Hamas assault, Palestinian media says 160 killed in Gaza clashes, airstrikes

Palestinian media outlets report 160 killed and over 1,000 wounded recorded by hospitals in the Gaza Strip since this morning.

The toll likely includes those targeted by the Israeli military in airstrikes, and during clashes with troops in southern Israel.

Sderot resident: People opened their doors when Hamas terrorists knocked, thinking they were IDF troops

Shoval Kahlon, a resident of Sderot, describes the situation in the border town which was infiltrated by Hamas terrorists.

“There are Hamas troops walking around. We see videos of them. They’re walking round with impunity,” she tells the Kan public broadcaster from the bomb shelter of her home.

Security forces are fighting terrorists in at least four areas in the town, the broadcaster reports.

“We woke up at 6:30 a.m. to alarms, we thought it was the usual rocket attacks but we started hearing gunshots on the street, sounded like it came from the parking of our building. Then we realized something was unusual. We then started seeing Hamas people in pickup trucks. They knocked on the homes of residents, who thought they were Israeli soldiers. They took them hostage,” says Kahlon.

US condemns Hamas attacks on Israeli citizens

An ultra-Orthodox Jew peers out of a building after a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

The United States “unequivocally condemns the unprovoked attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians,” says White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson.

“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,” Watson says.

US “National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has spoken to Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi and we remain in close contact with our Israeli partners,” Watson adds.

Baby found at kibbutz where Hamas gunmen infiltrated; parents nowhere to be seen

A baby has been found at Kibbutz Kfar Aza near the Gaza border, and the parents are nowhere to be seen, Channel 12’s Tamir Steinman reports.

The baby is alive. Kibbutz residents are pleading for anyone who has information on the baby’s family to come forward.

The kibbutz is one of several places where Hamas gunmen are still believed to be on the loose.

Steinman, speaking a few minutes later, also says several of his friends and contacts who live in areas close to the Gaza border, including some he was talking to earlier today, “are no longer answering… and it’s clear why they’re not answering.”

Education Ministry says schools, kindergartens to be closed nationwide on Sunday

The Education Ministry says all kindergartens and schools will be closed across the country on Sunday.

Earlier, the Israel Defense Forces’ Home Front Command said that studies would not go ahead in the center and south of the country, but the ministry has expanded the closure to the entire country.

UN Middle East envoy ‘vehemently condemns’ Hamas assault on Israel

UN Mideast envoy Tor Wennesland addresses the UN Security Council in New York on November 28, 2022. (Screenshot/ UN, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The UN’s Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland “vehemently condemns” today’s multi-front Hamas assault of Israeli towns near Gaza and the firing of rockets into central Israel.

“These events have resulted in horrific scenes of violence and many Israeli fatalities and injuries, with many believed to be kidnapped inside the Strip. These are heinous attacks targeting civilians and must stop immediately,” Wennesland says in a statement.

“I am deeply concerned for the well-being of all civilians. I am in close contact with all concerned to urge maximum restraint and call on all sides to protect civilians.”

“This is a dangerous precipice and I appeal to all to pull back from the brink,” he adds.

TV reporter describes ‘bodies on the ground’ in Sderot; mayor says Israelis haven’t yet understood what’s happened

Alon Davidi, mayor of the southern city of Sderot, attends a press conference in Jerusalem, March 27, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The mayor of Sderot, Alon Davidi, says his city is still under attack.

“Don’t open the doors, stay inside, close the windows… we’re still searching the area,” he tells local residents via Channel 12.

He says the Hamas leadership, from Ismael Haniyeh on down, are “animals” who “must be harmed and killed.”

The people of Israel “haven’t yet seen” what’s happened in the city, he says — “inhuman acts” against innocent people. The terrorists have to be “wiped out,” he says.

Israel has given Gazans food, water and electricity, and allowed Gazans into work, he notes, but the Gaza Hamas leadership are “murderers who must be buried under the ground. Not because we are cruel, but because those who are merciful to the cruel, ultimately are cruel to the good.”

“People still don’t understand the numbers” and the extent of the attacks, he says.

A Channel 12 reporter in the city says there are many “bodies on the ground… terribly grave pictures, scenes that are hard to describe.”

These fatalities, the reporter stresses, are victims of gunfire by Hamas terrorists who infiltrated from Gaza into the city, not rocket attacks.

At least 40 killed, over 700 injured in devastating Hamas attack

Wounded Israeli soldiers from the south arrive at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, October 7, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

At least 40 people have been killed and over 700 injured since the start of the massive attack by the Hamas terror group, the Magen David Adom emergency service says.

The Health Ministry says 779 people have been hospitalized.

Terror cells from the Gaza group have infiltrated a number of communities in the south of the country.

In addition, thousands of rockets have been fired at the center and south.

Hamas has claimed to have taken a number of hostages from Israel to the Gaza Strip. There has been no confirmation from Israel.

The assault has been ongoing since approximately 6:30 a.m.

The death toll is expected to rise.

Netanyahu calls on citizens to unite and achieve victory in war amid Hamas assault

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a security cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, October 7, 2023. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu makes a statement at the start of the security cabinet meeting, calling for all the citizens of the country to unite.

“Since this morning, the State of Israel has been at war. Our first goal is first of all to cleanse the area of the enemy forces that have infiltrated, and restore security and peace to the settlements that were attacked,” Netanyahu says.

“The second goal, at the same time, is to exact a huge price from the enemy, also in the Gaza Strip,” he says.

“The third goal is to fortify other arenas so that no one makes the mistake of joining this war,” Netanyahu says.

“We are at war, in war, you have to keep calm. I call on all citizens of Israel to unite in order to achieve our highest goal – victory in the war,” the premier says.

The official name for the campaign by the Israel Defense Forces amid the devastating Hamas attack is Operation Swords of Iron.

IDF says carried out drone strikes on Hamas terrorists at Gaza border

The Israel Defense Forces says it has carried out a number of drone strikes against several Hamas terrorists on the border with the Gaza Strip.

Airstrikes are continuing in other areas of the Gaza Strip at this hour, the IDF says.

Ukraine’s Zelensky on ‘horrible’ Hamas attack: ‘Israel’s right to self-defense is unquestionable’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a press conference with President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen in Kyiv on May 9, 2023. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP)

Ukraine’s President writes a long post condemning the devastating Hamas terror assault on Israel and says that all its details should be revealed to the world.

Here is the post in full:

“Horrible news from Israel. My condolences go out to everyone who lost relatives or close ones in the terrorist attack. We have faith that order will be restored and terrorists will be defeated.

“Terror should have no place in the world, because it is always a crime, not just against a specific country or this terror’s victims, but against humanity in general and our entire world.

“Anyone who resorts to terror commits a crime against the world. Whoever finances terror is committing a crime against the world. The world must stand united and in solidarity so that terror does not attempt to break or subjugate life anywhere and at any moment.

“Israel’s right to self-defense is unquestionable.

“All details surrounding this terrorist assault must be revealed so that the world knows and holds accountable everyone who supported and helped carry out the attack.

“All Ukrainian citizens who remain in the risk zone must carefully obey all orders issued by local security services and remain vigilant. Please be cautious. The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our embassy in Israel are ready to assist in any situation.

“To support Ukrainians in Israel, we established an operational headquarters. If you require assistance, please contact any of our diplomatic or consular offices in any convenient and accessible manner.

Every life is valuable! We condemn all forms of terrorism.”

Reports of hostage situation in Ofakim, 20 km from Gaza border

An ongoing hostage situation is reported by Hebrew-language media in the southern city of Ofakim, some 20 kilometers from the border with the Gaza Strip.

Some reports say several Hamas terrorists have been killed by Israeli forces there.

There is no immediate comment from authorities on the incident.

Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha, Nir Yitzhak residents say terrorists still inside communities

Residents of Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha near the border with the Gaza Strip tell Channel 12 news that there are still terrorists within the community.

“Send police or troops to help us, please,” one of them messages a reporter. “I am in the safe room, with a knife.”

In addition, the outlet says there is a Hamas gunman still roaming around Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak.

Throughout the day, residents of the border communities have been calling television outlets to beg for security forces to come and rescue them amid a mass infiltration by Hamas terrorists.

Hamas publishes footage of drone attack on IDF ambulance

The Hamas terror group publishes a video showing it dropping a bomb from a drone on a military ambulance near the Gaza border, wounding Israeli troops.

Footage shows bulldozer breaking through border fence from Gaza into Israel

Palestinians from the Gaza Strip enter Kibbutz Kfar Aza on Oct. 7, 2023 amid a massive assault by the Hamas terror group. (AP Photo/Hassan Eslaiah)

Channel 12 broadcasts footage from earlier this morning apparently showing a bulldozer breaking through the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Dozens of terrorists from the Hamas terrorist group infiltrated into Israel by land, air and sea, going on deadly rampages through border communities.

The Hamas terror group has published footage showing its members capturing a number of Israeli soldiers during an attack on a military base on the border with the Gaza Strip this morning.

Other clips circulated online have purported to show Israeli civilians taken hostage by the terror group.

The IDF has yet to comment on the allegations.

Gaza terrorists have now been firing rockets at Israel for 7.5 hours

Gaza-based terror groups have been firing rockets toward Israel for over 7.5 hours.

There are multiple dead and hundreds injured in the assault by the Hamas terror group which also includes infiltration by dozens of terrorists into southern border communities.

IDF says it hit Hamas military compounds in airstrikes amid massive terror assault

The Israel Defense Forces says it carried out airstrikes against 17 military compounds and four headquarters belonging to the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip, among other targets.

The IDF publishes a clip showing the strikes.

EU foreign policy chief calls for immediate release of Israeli hostages from Gaza

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell on August 31, 2023. (PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP)

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell calls for the immediate release of Israeli hostages who were kidnapped and taken to Gaza amid a massive assault by the Hamas terror group.

“News of civilians taken as hostages in their homes or to Gaza are appalling,” Borrell writes on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter.

“This is against international law,” he writes. “Hostages must be released immediately.”

The Hamas terror group has published footage showing its members capturing a number of Israeli soldiers during an attack on a military base on the border with the Gaza Strip this morning.

Other clips circulated online have purported to show Israeli civilians taken hostage by the terror group.

The IDF has yet to comment on the allegations.

European leaders strongly condemn Hamas terror assault

Israeli police officers evacuate a family from a site hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in Ashkelon, October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

European leaders roundly condemn the massive assault by the Hamas terror group on Israel.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says Hamas contributes to “the intensification of violence,” adding Israel “has our full solidarity” and “the right, guaranteed by international law, to defend itself against terrorism.”

France expresses “full solidarity with Israel and the victims” and underscored “its absolute rejection of terrorism and its commitment to Israel’s security.” French President Emmanuel Macron said he “firmly condemns” the attacks.

Italy also backed “Israel’s right to defend itself” against the “brutal attack.”

Britain’s foreign minister James Cleverly condemns the “horrific attacks” and underlined Israel’s right to self-defense.

Dutch PM Mark Rutte says: “Appalling images from Israel. Terror organization Hamas is waging an unprecedented attack on Israel… This violence must stop; Israel has every right to defend itself.”

Spain says it is “shocked by the indiscriminate violence” of the attacks on Israel while Ukraine and the Czech Republic say they back Israel’s right to defend itself.

Top EU official says bloc ‘unequivocally’ condemns Hamas terror attacks

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a press statement on Ukraine, at EU headquarters in Brussels, Feb 24, 2022. (Kenzo Tribouillard, Pool Photo via AP)

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

The comments came after a barrage of rockets was fired and fighters from the Palestinian enclave infiltrated Israel, a major escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen says she “unequivocally” condemns the “terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel,” adding that it was “terrorism in its most contemptible form.”

“Israel has the right to defend itself against such odious attack,” she adds.

“This horrific violence must stop immediately. Terrorism and violence solve nothing. The EU expresses its solidarity with Israel in these difficult moments,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says.

European Council president Charles Michel also condemns the “indiscriminate attacks launched against Israel and its people this morning inflicting terror and violence against innocent citizens.”

“My thoughts are with all the victims. EU stands in solidarity with Israeli people in this horrific moment.”

Paramedic among those killed; Hamas has control of 2 Israeli ambulances – Magen David Adom

A paramedic is among the confirmed dead so far in the massive assault by the Hamas terror group, the spokesman for the Magen David Adom emergency service says.

Eli Bin tells Army Radio that the paramedic was killed in his ambulance, and a medic in a second ambulance was badly injured.

Additionally, Bin says Hamas has control of two ambulances.

Health Ministry: 545 hospitalized since start of Hamas attack

A member of the fire brigade puts out the blaze following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on Ashkelon in southern Israel, on October 7, 2023 (AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

The Health Ministry says 545 people have been hospitalized since the start of the massive attack by Hamas, which was launched by the terror group at around 6:30 a.m. this morning.

Earlier, the Magen David Adom emergency service said that at least 22 people have been killed. The death toll is expected to rise.

Hamas publishes footage of terrorists capturing IDF soldiers in attack on Gaza border base

The Hamas terror group publishes footage showing its members capturing a number of Israeli soldiers during an attack on a military base on the border with the Gaza Strip this morning.

Other clips circulated online have purported to show Israeli civilians taken hostage by the terror group.

The IDF has yet to comment on the allegations.

Attempted stabbing at entrance to West Bank settlement, attacker shot

The scene of an attempted stabbing attack at Beit Aryeh settlement in the West Bank, October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)

There is an attempted stabbing attack at a settlement in the northern West Bank, according to local security officials.

The alleged attacker is said to have attempted to stab the civilian guard at the entrance to the Beit Aryeh settlement. The guard shot the assailant.

The suspect is being treated by military medics at the scene.

IDF Palestinian liaison chief: ‘Hamas opened the gates of hell on the Gaza Strip’

The military’s liaison to the Palestinians threatens Hamas after the terror group launched a surprise attack on Israel today.

“Hamas opened the gates of hell on the Gaza Strip, Hamas made the decision and Hamas will bear the responsibility and pay the price,” says Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

At least 22 killed in massive Hamas surprise attack, emergency service says

Police officers evacuate a woman and a child from a site hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in Ashkelon, October 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

The Magen David Adom emergency service says at least 22 people have been killed since the start of the massive attack by the Hamas terror group.

There are over 70 people seriously injured, a spokesman says.

Terror cells from the Gaza group have infiltrated a number of communities in the south of the country.

In addition, thousands of rockets have been fired at the center and south.

The assault has been ongoing since approximately 6:30 a.m.

The death toll is expected to rise.

IDF publishes footage of Gaza strikes in response to massive Hamas attack

The Israel Defense Forces publishes footage of Air Force strikes on Hamas assets in the Gaza Strip earlier today.

IAF jets have so far dropped more than 16 tons of munitions, according to a military source.

Several battalions from the standing army have been deployed to the Gaza border, as the military focuses most of its efforts on fighting Hamas terrorists still in Israeli territory.

IDF Home Front cancels school in south, center of country on Sunday

Residents take shelter in the basement of a building following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip into Israel on October 7, 2023 (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces announces it is canceling schools in central and southern Israel, meaning roughly 1 million children will stay home tomorrow, amid ongoing fighting between Israel and terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

All schools south of Netanya and north of the central Negev are to be closed and businesses can only be opened if there is ready access to bomb shelters, the military says.

Gatherings are also restricted to 10 people outdoors and 50 people indoors in those areas, the IDF Home Front Command says.

The restrictions are valid till Sunday at 6 p.m., but will likely be extended further amid the fighting.

IDF: Country in state of war, Hamas terrorists still in Israel

Palestinian terrorists take control of an Israeli tank after crossing the border fence with Israel from Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces’ top spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, says Israel is “in a state of war” following Hamas’s surprise attack.

“The IDF has declared a state of war. We are in a state of war,” Hagari says in a live video statement.

“More than 2,000 rockets have been fired. Terrorists infiltrated, and some are still in Israel,” he says.

“The IDF is flooding the area with troops. We are focusing on the fighting on the Gaza border,” Hagari continues.

“We have begun a widespread call-up in all parts of the IDF. The Air Force is also striking in Gaza,” he adds.

Resident of southern town: ‘They kidnapped my father, I saw pictures of him in Gaza’

A woman tells Channel 12 news that her father has been kidnapped from a southern border community by Hamas terrorists and taken to the Gaza Strip.

“He messaged me that they were in the house,” she says, through tears.

“He told me they were taking him,” says the resident of Kibbutz Be’eri.

“I saw pictures of him in Gaza,” she says.

Hezbollah praises Hamas, says attack is message to Arab countries normalizing ties with Israel

Hezbollah fighters hold the terror group's flags as they parade during a rally to mark Jerusalem Day in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, April 14, 2023. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Hezbollah praises the massive Hamas operation against Israel, and says it is message to Arab countries normalizing with Israel.

The terror group Hezbollah says it is in direct contact with the Hamas leadership in Gaza and abroad, and calls on Arab and Muslim peoples around the world to declare their support to Hamas and the Palestinian people, adding that armed resistance is the only way to confront the Israeli “aggression.”

Hezbollah adds that the “Al-Aqsa Deluge” operation launched by Hamas against Israel is a message to the international community and the Arab and Muslim world, in particular those countries seeking normalization with Israel.

It also calls on the Israeli government to learn the “important lessons” taught by the “Palestinian resistance.”

Netanyahu on massive Hamas attack: ‘We are at war’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a statement on October 7, 2023 (Screen grab)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives his first public statement on the massive attack by the Hamas terror group, saying the country is at war.

“Citizens of Israel, we are at war,” he says. “And we will win.”

“The enemy will pay a price like they have never known before,” he says, in his first public statement on the matter, some five hours since the start of the assault by the Gaza-based terror group.

There are reports of a number of dead and nearly 300 wounded as terrorists infiltrate a number of southern towns and thousands of rockets are fired at the center and south of the country.

Residents of towns near Gaza Strip beg for help as they fight off terrorists

Israeli residents near the Gaza Strip continue to ask for help and report on shooting by terrorists inside the towns while there is little or no IDF presence on the streets.

A pregnant Kibbutz Sufa resident speaks to Channel 12 from a safe room with her two-year-old child and close family members, saying: “They are shooting at our house, they are trying to break down the door of the safe room.”

She reports that her husband and four other armed residents are fighting in the streets with no aid from the military.

“I don’t understand how this is still going on. We’re in this situation since 6 a.m.,” she says. “Four people cannot fight them off alone

“Send help, please,” she cries.

Residents in other areas near the Gaza Strip report of unprecedented fighting on all major Israeli media sources. In an Instagram story timed to 9:55 a.m. cited by Ynet, a resident of Kfar Gaza writes: “I’m begging you!!! We can’t catch anyone! There are terrorists in Kfar Gaza, send forces to Kibbutz Kfar Gaza!!!”

A Channel 12 reporter in Beersheba describes receiving dozens of requests for help from residents of the Gaza Strip.

Mirjam Reijnen, a 42-year-old volunteer firefighter in Nahal Oz, tells AP: “With rockets we somehow feel safer, knowing that we have the Iron Dome (missile defense system) and our safe rooms. But knowing that terrorists are walking around communities is a different kind of fear,” she said, adding that she and her three kids have been too scared to leave the shelter even for a moment to use the bathroom.

Magen David Adom calls for public to donate blood amid widespread Hamas assault

Hundreds in line at the Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv to donate blood, October 7, 2023 (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The Magen David Adom emergency service calls for the public to donate blood, especially those who are Type O.

Drives are being held in Tel Aviv at the Ichilov Hospital, in Jerusalem at the Magen David Adom station at 7 Ha’Mem Gimmel Street and in Haifa at the MDA station at 34 Yitzhak Sade St.

A further station will open in Hadera at the sports hall in the school at 20 Ha’atzmaut Street.

Further locations will be announced later in the day.

Nearly 300 people have been wounded in the widespread rocket attack and infiltrations by the terror group.

Nearly 200 wounded in ongoing Hamas attack on Israel

People try to extinguish cars following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, southern Israel, on October 7, 2023 (AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

There have been nearly 200 wounded in the ongoing Hamas attack, according to statements from various hospitals.

At least two dozen are seriously or critically wounded.

In addition, at least six people have been confirmed killed.

In 3.5 hours since attack started, no public statement from Netanyahu beyond cabinet meeting announcement

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a government conference at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on September 27, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

With Israel under attack by Hamas terrorists for over 3.5 hours, there has been no public statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the situation, beyond the announcement that the security cabinet will convene at 1 p.m.

At least six people have been killed and over 100 wounded in the ongoing assault by the Gaza-based terror group.

Gun battles with Hamas terrorists still ongoing in at least 7 locations in Israel

Polic near the southern towns of Or haNer and Sderot, October 7, 2023. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The Israeli military is still fighting Hamas terrorists in a number of locations in southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip.

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.

Resident of kibbutz infiltrated by terrorists sends whispered plea for help: ‘Please send troops’

A resident of Kibbutz Be’eri tells Channel 12 news that they are barricaded in their homes and believe they have been abandoned by the authorities as Hamas terrorists infiltrate their community.

“Please send troops,” Eli Messika says, using the television channel as a conduit in a desperate attempt to speak to the authorities.

“There are wounded here,” he says. “There are burning houses.”

IDF says dozens of jets carrying out Gaza strikes on terror targets amid massive Hamas attack

The Israel Defense Forces says dozens of fighter jets are carrying out strikes against sites belonging to the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip.

The IDF says it will provide further information soon.

Head of Sha’ar Hanegev council Ofir Libstein killed in gunfight with Hamas terrorists

Ofir Libstein, head of Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, attends a convention of newly elected mayors and heads of local councils, in Ashkelon, November 27, 2018. (Flash90)

The head of the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, Ofir Libstein, was killed during fighting with Hamas terrorists this morning, local authorities say.

“Ofir was killed when he went to defend a town during the terrorist attack,” the council says.

The deputy head of the council, Yossi Keren, is currently filling his place.

Opposition heads call for united front amid massive ongoing Hamas attack

File: Heads of opposition parties Labor MK Merav Michaeli, Yesh Atid head MK Yair Lapid, National Unity head MK Benny Gantz, Israel Beteinu head MK Avigdor Liberman and leader of the United Arab List MK Mansour Abbas hold a joint press conference in Tel Aviv, on March 16, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

A joint statement from Knesset opposition party heads gives full backing to the IDF and calls on the international community to condemn the acts of terror.

Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid, National Unity head Benny Gantz, Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Lieberman and Labor party head Merav Michaeli say, “In days like these there is no opposition and no coalition in Israel.”

We “are united in the face of terrorism” and the need to strike with “a strong and determined fist,” says the statement, calling for retribution against Hamas and all terrorist organizations that cooperates with it.

“It is necessary to mobilize the international community against terrorism,” the statement continues, ending with strong support for the citizens of Israel, active and reserve IDF soldiers all security and emergency forces.

“We call on the citizens — obey the directives of the Home Front Command, take care of yourselves and together we will overcome terrorism,” say the heads.

IDF: 2,200 rockets fired from Gaza; Hamas terrorists infiltrated from land, sea and air

A residential building in Tel Aviv is damaged following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip into Israel on October 7, 2023. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces says it has launched “Operation Swords of Iron” in response to Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel.

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari tells reporters that more than 2,200 rockets fired into Israel since 6:30 a.m.

Hagari says the Hamas terrorists infiltrated from land, sea and air.

There are at least seven sites of fighting between Hamas terrorists and IDF troops.

The military expects to draft tens of thousands of soldiers.

IDF won’t comment yet on kidnapping allegations.

Bruno Mars Tel Aviv concert cancelled amid widespread Hamas attack

Pop singer Bruno Mars performs at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv on October 4, 2023. (David Granot)

Live Nation, promoters of the Bruno Mars performances this week in Israel, announced that the planned Saturday night show is canceled.

All ticket holders for the concert will automatically receive refunds to the credit cards used to make the ticket purchase.

Earlier this morning, the promoter announced that the artist and his managers are being kept informed on the unfolding situation and waiting for instructions.

Bruno Mars performed on Wednesday night in Tel Aviv in front of a crowd of 60,000-plus, declaring his love for Tel Aviv during his first-ever Israel show.

Hamas publishes footage of terrorists breaking through gate of Israeli community

Hamas publishes video showing its members breaking into an Israeli community near the border with Gaza.

The footage appears to show the terrorists detonating a charge at the gate.

Fire and Rescue Services raise alert to highest level amid Hamas assault

Israeli military vehicle heads towards the south on October 7, 2023 (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

The Israel Fire and Rescue Services say they have raised their alert to the highest level amid Hamas’s unprecedented attacks on Israel.

The fire service says it has been given approval to call up 200 firefighters from the Home Front Command to assist with rocket impact sites in southern Israel.

Israel under sustained rocket attack from Gaza for over 3.5 hours

Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel on October 7, 2023. (Liron Moldovan/Flash90)

The center and south of Israel have been under heavy rocket fire for over 3.5 hours amid a sustained and widespread attack.

At least five people are thought to have been killed and at least 100 hundred injured.

In addition, dozens of terrorists have infiltrated a number of southern towns. There are reports of multiple casualties.

Hamas publishes footage of terror group members infiltrating into Israel from Gaza

The Hamas terror group publishes images showing its members infiltrating into Israel.

The pictures show Hamas terrorists raiding an Israeli army post on the Gaza border.

Defense Minister Gallant: ‘Israel will win this war,’ Hamas made ‘grave mistake’ with surprise attack

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaks at an awards ceremony for outstanding officers, at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, September 3, 2023. (Shahar Yorman/ Defense Ministry

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says the Hamas terror group has made a “grave mistake” for launching a surprise attack on Israel with rocket attacks and infiltrating into towns on the border with the Gaza Strip.

“Hamas made a grave mistake this morning and started a war against the State of Israel. IDF soldiers are fighting the enemy at all the infiltration sites,” Gallant says in remarks provided by his office.

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

Some East Jerusalem mosques call for residents to join Hamas assault

Mosques in Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem call to join the fight.

Pro-Hamas channels share a clip showing mosques of the Shuafat refugee camp inside the Jerusalem municipality, issuing from their minarets calls for people to mobilize.

Gunfire can also be heard in the background.

The channels also share videos of street celebrations in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Hospitals say more than 100 Israelis wounded in rocket barrage, several seriously

The scene after a rocket fired from Gaza hit a building in North Tel Aviv on October 7, 2023 (Tomer Neyberg/Flash90)

Hospitals say more than 100 Israelis have been wounded in rocket strikes across south and central Israel, some in critical condition.

Soraka Hospital in Beersheba says it has received 80 patients, some of them in a very serious condition.

The Assaf Harofeh Medical Center near Tel Aviv says it is treating 17 patients, two in serious condition and one in moderate condition. the rest are lightly wounded.

The Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot is treating 21 casualties including two in a serious condition who are being operated on.

Four are moderately wounded and 15 lightly.

Not all hospitals have reported their patients.

Rocket fired from Gaza hits road in town near Jerusalem

Police say a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip landed on a road in a town near Jerusalem.

The rocket impact causes damage in Mevaseret Zion, but no injuries.

IDF closes roads near Gaza border amid ongoing Hamas assault

Smoke rises after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hits southern Israel, October 7, 2023 (Jamal Awad/Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces shutters roads near the border with the Gaza Strip amid Hamas’s surprise attack.

The closures include Route 4 from the Zikim junction to Netiv Ha’asara; Route 34 from the Yad Mordechai junction to Nir Am; and Route 232 from Mefalsim to Sa’ad and Nir Yitzhak to Kerem Shalom.

All routes used by farmers in the area as also closed off by the army.

The Zikim beach on the Gaza border is also closed off, and trains will not run between Ashkelon and Sderot, the IDF says.

Videos show terrorists in Sderot, apparent kidnapping of soldier

Videos posted on social media showed what appeared to be uniformed Palestinian gunmen inside the Israeli border town of Sderot.

A video from Gaza showed what looked like the lifeless body of an Israeli soldier being trampled by an angry crowd shouting “God is Great.”

Another video appeared to show Palestinian militants dragging away a live Israeli soldier on a motorcycle.

Other videos showed a crowd of Palestinian men dancing around and atop an Israeli tank that was on fire.

The authenticity of the videos could not immediately be verified.

Lapid says would back ‘harsh military response’ to Hamas attack

Yesh Atid head MK Yair Lapid speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv on September 20, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid receives a security update from the prime minister’s military secretary, Avi Gil.

A statement from Lapid’s office says that “Israel is in an emergency” and that Lapid would back “harsh military response” to Hamas’s coordinated attack.

Mayor of southern Bedouin town says at least 4 killed by Gaza rocket fire

The mayor of Kuseife, Abd al-Aziz Nassara, tells the Kan public broadcaster that there are at least four dead and several more wounded as a result of a number of rocket impacts in the town.

Kuseife, a Bedouin town in southern Israel, is located some 65 kilometers from the Gaza Strip.

Hamas claims to fire 5,000 rockets at Israel, declares ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’

A residential building in Tel Aviv is damaged following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip into Israel on October 7, 2023. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Hamas says it has launched 5,000 rockets at Israel in an early morning surprise attack it calls “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.”

Mohammad Deif, the Hamas military commander, issues a statement saying that the ongoing attacks are in retaliation for Israel’s “desecration” of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

He adds that Israel killed and wounded hundreds of Palestinians this year, and that Israel rejected offers for prisoner exchange deals.

Over 5,000 missiles were fired, Deif claims.

“Today, the people are bringing back the revolution and reviving the March of Return,” he says.

He urges Arabs in Jerusalem and inside Israel, in the Negev, the Galilee and northern Israel “set the earth on fire under the feet of the occupiers.”

He further calls on the “Islamic resistance in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon” — countries with terror movements that are militarily supported by Iran — to “merge their resistance with that of the Palestinians today,” and “start marching towards Palestine now.”

Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of Hamas who is considered to be its leader in the West Bank, issued a statement along the same lines, calling on the Arab and Islamic nations to join “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.”

Resident of southern town says terrorists roaming the streets, she can hear gunfire

A resident of Kibbutz Be’eri says that terrorists are on the streets of the small town near the Gaza border.

Dvir Efrat tells Channel 12 that she does not dare raise her voice above a whisper and that she is barricaded in her home with a knife.

“I can hear gunfire,” she says.

Security cabinet to convene over Hamas surprise attack

Smoke rises after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a house in Ashkelon, southern Israel, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

Israel’s top-level security cabinet will hold a meeting at 1 p.m. amid the surprise Hamas attack, the Prime Minister’s Office says.

Before the meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold an assessment with security chiefs at 9:30 a.m.

Saturday night anti-overhaul protests canceled; Brothers in Arms urges all who are needed to report for duty

Organizers of protests against the judicial overhaul scheduled for Saturday night announce the cancellation of the weekly demonstrations.

“We stand with the residents of Israel and give full support to the IDF and the security forces,” the protest organizers say in a statement.

“We call on all those who are needed to report [for duty] and play their part to safeguard the security and health of of the residents of Israel.”

The Brothers and Sisters in Arms protest group also urges all those who are needed to report for duty “without hesitation.”

Sirens in Jerusalem, surrounding towns for second time amid ongoing massive barrage

Rocket alert sirens sound in Jerusalem and the surrounding towns for the second time this morning amid an ongoing attack by the Hamas terror group.

Residents report hearing the sound of multiple explosions from rockets or an Iron Dome interceptions.

Gallant declares emergency situation in south, center; gatherings restricted

Israeli firefighters extinguish fire after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a parking lot in Ashkelon, Oct. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has declared an emergency situation within a range of 80 kilometers from the Gaza Strip, his office says.

The “special situation” allows the military’s Home Front Command to restrict gatherings and close off areas.

The area includes the major cities Tel Aviv and Beersheba.

Israel under sustained rocket fire from Gaza for over two hours

Hamas fires a large number of rockets towards Israel in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, October 7, 2023. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

There has been sustained rocket fire toward Israel for over two hours.

One woman has been killed and there are multiple wounded from the barrages.

Sirens have been heard in a number of major cities including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Beersheba.

In addition, Hamas terror cells have infiltrated across the border into at least one town in the south.

Unverified Gaza footage shows Hamas terrorists with body of IDF soldier

Unverified footage from the Gaza Strip purports to show Hamas terrorists with the body of an IDF soldier taken from Israel during the attack this morning.

The graphic videos show the body being taken out of a truck, as a crowd swarms around it.

Gallant approves widescale call-up of IDF reservists amid ongoing Hamas attack

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant addresses a press conference with his German coounterpart after signing a declaration of Intent on the Arrow 3 missile defense system, at the German defense ministry in Berlin on September 28, 2023. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has approved a widescale call-up of reservists, following a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel, his office says.

The number of reservists to be called up will depend on the military’s needs.

Casualties reported after Hamas terrorists infiltrate southern town

There are a number of casualties after Hamas terrorists infiltrated the southern city of Sderot.

It is unclear how many terrorists infiltrated into the country.

The clashes are ongoing.

IDF carries out retaliatory strikes on Gaza amid infiltrations, massive rocket barrages

The Israel Defense Forces says it is carrying out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip now.

The strikes come nearly two hours after Hamas launched a surprise attack.

Hamas’s Gaza commander Deif urges Israeli Arabs, neighboring states to join attack

Hamas military commander Muhammad Deif (courtesy)

Mohammad Deif, the Hamas military commander, issues a statement calling the morning’s attacks and infiltration “the day of the great revolution.”

He urges Israeli Arabs to take up arms, and encourages Arabs on Israel’s borders to join in the attack.

“Today, the people are bringing back the revolution and reviving the March of return,” he says. He urges Arabs in Jerusalem and inside Israel, in the Negev, the Galilee and the Triangle area to “set the earth on fire under the feet of the occupiers.”

He further calls on the “Islamic resistance in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon” – countries with terror movements that are militarily supported by Iran – to “merge their resistance with that of the Palestinians today,” and and “start marching towards Palestine now.”

Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of Hamas who is considered to be its leader in the West Bank, issued a statement along the same lines, calling on the Arab and Islamic nation to join the battle “Flood al-Aqsa.”

Rocket sirens sound in Jerusalem amid massive ongoing rocket barrage

Rocket sirens sound for the first time in Jerusalem and the surrounding area.

Residents report hearing the sound of explosions.

IDF declares ‘state of readiness for war’ amid Hamas infiltrations, rocket barrages

The Israel Defense Forces says it is declaring a state of readiness for war following a massive barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip and infiltration of Hamas terrorists into Israel.

In a statement, the IDF says Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi is holding an assessment and approving plans of action.

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

Woman killed in rocket attack on southern Israel

Rockets are fired from Gaza City towards Israel on October 7, 2023. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says one person has been killed and another 15 are wounded in the rocket attacks on southern and central Israel this morning.

A woman in her 60s was killed in a direct rocket impact in the Gderot area.

Another two people are seriously wounded, six moderately and seven with minor injuries, MDA says

IDF says Hamas will ‘pay a very heavy price’ for its surprise attack

Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel on October 7, 2023. (Liron Moldovan/Flash90)

The Israel Defense Forces says the Hamas terror group will “pay a very heavy price” for its surprise attack this morning.

“Hamas carried out a combined operation that included firing rockets and a terrorist infiltration into the territory of the State of Israel,” the IDF says in a statement.

“The IDF will protect the residents of the State of Israel, the Hamas terror organization will pay a very heavy price,” the army says.

The military has ordered residents of towns near the Gaza Strip to remain locked in their homes, and the rest of the public to remain near bomb shelters.

Rocket fire at central, southern Israel for over an hour

A rocket fired from Gaza into southern Israel hits Ashkelon, October 7, 2023 (Edi Israel/Flash90)

Incoming rocket sirens continue to sound across southern and central Israel for more than an hour now amid a surprise attack from the Gaza Strip.

Reports of direct hit on Tel Aviv building amid rocket barrage

There are reports of a direct hit on a building in Tel Aviv.

Video circulating on social media shows smoke rising in the central city.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

IDF confirms Gaza terrorists infiltrated across border into south

The Israel Defense Forces confirms Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip infiltrated into Israel.

The IDF doesn’t provide further information.

Footage has shown armed Palestinians driving trucks and opening fire in Sderot. Another clip purported to show a hand glider near the Gaza border.

Sirens sound in Tel Aviv for second time, explosions heard

Amid the massive ongoing rocket fire across Israel for over an hour, rocket sirens sound for a second time in Tel Aviv and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Explosions are heard.

Palestinian terrorists infiltrate Sderot near Gaza border, clashing with IDF troops

A number of Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip have infiltrated into southern Israel.

Israeli forces are clashing with the gunmen in Sderot and nearby areas.

 

IDF orders residents of Gaza border towns to remain in homes amid security incident

The Israel Defense Forces orders residents of towns near the Gaza border to remain in their homes amid a security incident.

Massive rocket attack ongoing across central, southern Israel

Sirens have been sounding across southern and central Israel for around 40 minutes amid a massive ongoing barrage fired from the Gaza Strip.

A number of people have been wounded in at least two locations.

2 lightly wounded as result of rocket fire on Ashkelon

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says it is treating two people lightly wounded as a result of a rocket impact in the southern city of Ashkelon.

Residents of south, center told to stay close to shelters amid massive barrage

The Israeli military calls on residents of southern and central Israel to remain close to bomb shelters amid a massive barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip over the past half an hour.

“The public in the south and center of the country are urged to stay near protected areas and follow the instructions of the Home Front Command,” the Israel Defense Forces says.

Woman critically wounded in rocket hit in center

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says its medics are treating a 70-year-old woman in critical condition and another man trapped following a direct rocket impact in the Gederot Regional Council area in the center.

Netanyahu, Gallant to meet security chiefs amid rising violence

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issue a statement from the scene of a terror shooting near the West Bank city of Hebron, August 21, 2023. (GPO)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is heading to the military headquarters in Tel Aviv amid a massive barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip, his office says.

Gallant and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are set to hold meetings with top security officials soon, their offices say.

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