The surprise attack launched this morning by the brigades of the Palestinian group Hamas has unleashed a rapid escalation of violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip, the most serious in recent years between the two sides, which have declared war. This is what we know so far:
- The massive attack, dubbed “Al Aqsa Storm,” began at 6:30 a.m. local time (3:30 GMT), coinciding with the holy day of rest for Jews, Shabbat. Furthermore, it coincides with the 50th anniversary of a surprise attack by several Arab countries against Israel, in what has gone down in history as the Yom Kippur War.
- Dozens of militants from the Islamist group Hamas have infiltrated Israeli territory, from the Gaza Strip, and have clashed with Israeli soldiers in several towns, where they have taken civilians and uniformed personnel hostage. The Israeli Army has confirmed the death of soldiers, without specifying how many, as well as the kidnapping of Israeli citizens and soldiers, who have been taken to Gaza.
- Hamas has also launched thousands of rockets from Gaza into Israeli territory (more than 2,000, according to Israel, but 7,000, according to Hamas) causing destruction and panic among the Israeli population, who have been asked to remain at home or in the air raid shelters.
- Hamas militants claimed to have taken control of the Erez border crossing as well as the prison in the nearby city of Ashkelon, where they freed Palestinian prisoners. In addition, they have seized an Israeli tank and demolished part of the fence that separates Gaza from the State of Israel.
- Israel has responded to the combined Hamas attack with air strikes on the group’s facilities in Gaza and has launched Operation Iron Swords.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that the country is at war: “Citizens of Israel, we are at war. Not in an operation, not in rounds of combat, in a war.” And the head of state, Isaac Herzog, has promised that this threat will be put to an end.
- The Israeli Army is recruiting thousands of reservists for what is expected to be a tough fight, as other fronts could be activated in the West Bank or in the north of the country, with attacks from Lebanon, where the Shiite group Hezbollah has celebrated the action. Hamas army. The Palestinian group Islamic Jihad has also joined the “Al Aqsa Storm” from Gaza.
- At least 70 people have been killed and more than 900 injured in Israel. Meanwhile, 198 Palestinians have died and more than 1,600 have suffered injuries in the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health’s tally.
- The international community has condemned the attack launched by Hamas and has held the group responsible for this new escalation of violence. Brazil will call an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to address the escalation of violence.