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Unprecedented Attack: Hamas Launches Major Assault on Israel


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The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas initiated a large-scale assault on Israel, resulting in more than 20 casualties and signaling a significant escalation in the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This unexpected onslaught combined armed militants infiltrating Israeli towns with a barrage of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip. Israel swiftly labeled this act as a declaration of war, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to vow retaliation, emphasizing that they were engaged in a war they intended to win.

The toll from the attack has been devastating, with at least 22 Israelis killed and over 250 wounded, according to Israel’s ambulance service, with the number of casualties expected to rise. This incident marks a critical turning point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, characterized by the infiltration of an unknown number of Hamas gunmen into Israel from Gaza.

Reports have emerged of militants holding Israelis hostage in the town of Ofakim, while gunfights between Palestinian fighters and security forces have been reported in southern Israeli towns. Israel’s police chief indicated that there were “21 active scenes” in southern Israel, underscoring the extent of the attack.

Israel swiftly responded by launching airstrikes into Gaza, resulting in heavy explosions reported by witnesses, and at least two casualties. Furthermore, Israeli media reported clashes between Palestinian fighters and security forces, and disturbing footage on social media appeared to depict confrontations in city streets, along with armed gunmen roaming rural areas.

Hamas military commander Mohammad Deif announced the commencement of the operation in a broadcast, rallying Palestinians everywhere to join the fight. He claimed that this battle aimed to end the “last occupation on earth” and revealed that 5,000 rockets had been launched.

The attack comes in the context of increasing violence between Israel and Palestinian militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territories where Palestinians have long sought to establish their state. It also coincides with political turmoil in Israel, marked by divisions over judicial reforms, and ongoing efforts by the United States to broker a deal normalizing relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah expressed support for the operation, viewing it as a response to Israel’s continued occupation and a message to those pursuing normalization with Israel. Reports have also emerged, though unverified, of Israelis taken captive by fighters and the display of bodies claimed to be Israeli soldiers brought into Gaza by militants.

The situation remains highly fluid and volatile, with Israel’s military on high alert and the potential for further escalations in the coming days. As the world watches these developments with concern, diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the situation and restore stability are expected to intensify.

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