The Israeli Navy killed dozens of Palestinian terrorists who attempted to infiltrate into Israel from the Gaza Strip during a massive assault by the Hamas terror group on Saturday morning, the military said.
“Forces conducted a naval pursuit and targeted dozens of terrorists after they attempted to infiltrate into Israeli territory,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement on Saturday afternoon, publishing a video of the incident.
“The soldiers opened fire toward the terrorists and thwarted dozens of them,” the IDF added.
Footage showed three sea vessels, as well as a tractor, attempting to breach Israel’s security barrier near the Zikim beach on the border, being targeted by sailors of the 916th Patrol Squadron.
Hours later, the IDF said early Sunday morning that it had killed seven terrorists attempting to enter Israel via the Zikim Beach, just north of Gaza.
The IDF said it prevented the terrorists from infiltrating into Israeli communities.
The Gaza-based terror group launched an unprecedented assault on Israel in the morning, firing thousands of rockets and sending gunmen into Israeli communities by land, sea and air, killing at least 200 people and injuring over 1,400 by evening.
The multi-pronged attack, coming a day after Israel marked the 50th anniversary of the surprise invasion on Yom Kippur, caught the Israeli military and security forces completely by surprise.
Hamas gunmen overran at least one military base and gunmen moved through Israeli border communities, killing and capturing residents, apparently with little resistance from Israeli forces, residents said.
Other clips circulated online have purported to show Israeli civilians taken hostage by the terror group. Arabic media claimed 52 Israelis had been captured. Some of those captured appeared to have been killed.
The infiltration of fighters into southern Israel marked a major accomplishment — and escalation — by Hamas that forced millions of Israelis to hunker down in safe rooms, sheltering from rocket explosions and ongoing gun battles with Hamas fighters. Cities and towns emptied as the military closed roads near Gaza.
The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip said 198 Palestinians were killed and another 1,610 were wounded as of Saturday afternoon.