Israel ‘At War’ As Hamas Launches Largest Offensive in Years, Hundreds Killed

Calling it the "first stage," Hamas launched close to 5,000 rocket and militants entered Israeli towns and villages.

3 min read

Video Producer: Shohini Bose

Video Editor: Prajjwal Kumar

At least 600 have reportedly been killed in Israel while more than 300 died in Gaza after Palestinian Islamist group Hamas launched a surprise attack against Tel Aviv on Saturday, 7 October.

Meanwhile, northern Israel endured a brief exchange of strikes from Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, further raising fears of a broader conflict.

At least 600 people have been killed in Israel, including 44 soldiers, while officials in Gaza said 313 people had died in the territory, The Associated Press reported, quoting several Israeli media outlets. Nearly 2,000 people have been wounded on each side, the news agency stated.

Sirens blared throughout Israel at approximately 7 am on Saturday as Hamas launched an alleged 5,000 rockets from the blockaded enclave and Hamas militants entered Israeli towns and villages along the periphery – a development unprecedented in the 16 years since the Islamist group took control of the Gaza Strip.

As close to missiles hit various parts of Israel including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu declared war against Hamas and said, "Our enemy will pay a price the type of which it has never known."

"We are in a war and we will win it," Netanyahu added.


Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif announced the commencement of their operation to free the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem and added that this was only the first stage of Hamas's attack against Israel.

In a statement published by The Guardian, Deif said:

“We warned the enemy not to continue their aggression against the al-Aqsa mosque … The age of the enemy’s aggression without a response is over. I call on Palestinians everywhere in the West Bank and within the Green Line [Israeli territory] to launch an attack without restraint. Go to all the streets. I call on Muslims everywhere to launch an attack,”

International Response 

Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi said that New Delhi stands in solidarity with Israel and stated, "Deeply shocked by the news of terrorist attacks in Israel."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour," Modi added.

India also issued advisory for its nationals in Israel amid the attack and asked its nationals to "remain vigilant" and "observe security protocol."


The list of international condemnation of the attack has grown exponentially since the the incident began, including:

Australia, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain, Türkiye, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States.

Moreover, the United Nations, European Union and NATO also hit out at at attacks.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that he was “closely monitoring” the attack and added, "Over the coming days the Department of Defense will work to ensure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself and protect civilians from indiscriminate violence and terrorism."

President Biden also held a telephonic call with his Israeli counterpart and reportedly reaffirmed Israel right to self-defense.

British PM Rishi Sunak said that he was “shocked by this morning’s attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli citizens” and added that “Israel has an absolute right to defend itself."


This story has been updated to incorporate latest updates from conflict-stricken Israel and Gaza.

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Topics:  Israel   Gaza   Hamas 

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