has declared a “state of war” after thousands of by militants.
At least six people have died and a further 200 are injured.
Local police report that at least 60 militants from the Hamas group have crossed the border into the country, in an attack which appears to have taken Israel by surprise, with fighting breaking out in the streets.
Horrific pictures show missiles raining down, with cars on fire and tanks rolling in.
Violence has been escalating over the past 10 days, boiling over overnight before the missile fire this morning (Saturday, October 7). Residents have been ordered to remain indoors.
The elusive leader of Hamas’ military wing, Mohammed Deif, announced the beginning of what he called “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm”.
In a recorded message, he said, “enough is enough”, urging Palestinians to join the fight. Deif boasted that Hamas had fired more than 5,000 rockets into Israel.
Salah Arouri, an exiled Hamas leader, said the operation was a response “to the crimes of the occupation”. Fighters were defending the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, he claimed.
For all the latest updates, follow the live blog below.
4 mins ago10:29 Rishi Sunak condemns Hamas attacks
The Prime Minister wrote on X:
“I am shocked by this morning’s attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli citizens.
“Israel has an absolute right to defend itself.
“We’re in contact with Israeli authorities, and British nationals in Israel should follow travel advice.”
13 mins ago10:20 20 Palestinian dead
Palestinian sources claim 20 Palestinians have been killed and dozens of critical injuries as a result of Israeli operations in Gaza.
20 mins ago10:13 Hezbollah praises Hamas
Hezbollah, the pro-Iran Islamic terrorist group, has praised Hamas’ extensive operation against Israel, stating that it sends a message to Arab countries normalising relations with Israel. Hezbollah claimed to be in direct contact with Hamas leadership both in Gaza and abroad, expressing support for the Palestinian people. They emphasised that armed resistance is the only way to confront Israeli “aggression”.
34 mins ago09:59 Dozens of aircraft attacking Hamas
“Dozens of Israeli aircraft are attacking a number of Hamas targets in Gaza Strip,” announced the Israeli military spokesperson.
38 mins ago09:55 Head of Shaar Hanegev dead
The head of the Shaar Hanegev regional council, Ofir Liebstein, was killed during the Hamas attack in Israel, as reported by The Times of Israel, citing local authorities. “Ofir was killed while he was going to defend a city from the terrorist attack,” confirmed the council, which is now led by his deputy, Yossi Keren.
42 mins ago09:51 ‘We’re at war’, says Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has shared a brief video message on social media, stating that Israel is engaged in a war and expressing confidence in victory. “The enemy will pay a price like never before,” Netanyahu added.
u2014 Benjamin Netanyahu – u05d1u05e0u05d9u05deu05d9u05df u05e0u05eau05e0u05d9u05d4u05d5 (@netanyahu)
47 mins ago09:46 Israeli emergency services ask for urgent help
The Israeli National Emergency Service has urgently requested blood donations at three hospitals in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa.
53 mins ago09:40 At least 35 Israeli kidnapped
The Hamas militant group declared that it had abducted a minimum of 35 Israelis, taking them into the Gaza Strip after its forces infiltrated Israel.
54 mins ago09:39 ‘Israel will win’, says Gallant
Israel’s defence minister announced that the Hamas militant group has started a war against Israel and pledged that “Israel will win.”
Following a security cabinet meeting at the Israeli military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant warned that Hamas “made a grave mistake” in launching barrages of rockets into southern and central Israel in its surprise morning attack.
In one of the most serious escalations in years between Israel and the militant group that rules Gaza, Hamas gunmen crossed the border fence at several places and infiltrated Israeli communities.
“The state of Israel will win this war,” Gallant said.
58 mins ago09:35 Good morning
Welcome to our live blog. We will be bringing you all the latest updates from Israel today as Palestinian militants cross the border and fire rocket strikes over Gaza.
More to follow.
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