Ramallah, 7 October 2023 (TDI): The Israel-Hamas conflict escalated as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) initiated operation ‘Iron Swords’ in response to a surprise attack by Hamas, amid escalating tensions over the Al-Aqsa Mosque and ongoing occupation concerns.

Hamas attacked by firing rockets at Israel, resulting in the IDF striking Hamas targets in Gaza. “In response to the barrages of rockets launched by Hamas from Gaza at Israel, the IDF is currently striking Hamas targets in Gaza,” Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated.

Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, emphasized Israel’s determination to win this conflict, highlighting that Hamas had made a “grave mistake” with its surprise rocket attack.

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“Hamas made a grave mistake this morning and started a war against the State of Israel. Moreover, IDF soldiers are fighting the enemy at all the infiltration sites. The State of Israel will win this war,” said Gallant.

Fighting between Hamas and the Israeli military continued in various locations in Southern Israel near the Gaza Strip border, including towns like Kfar Aza, Sderot, Sufa, Nahal Oz, Magen, Be’eri, and the Re’im military base.

IDF Spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari reported that over 2,200 rockets had been fired into Israel since the conflict’s escalation, with attacks lasting more than 3.5 hours.

Hagari noted that Hamas fighters had infiltrated from land, sea, and air, leading to at least seven sites of fighting between Hamas soldiers and IDF personnel.

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The Israeli military anticipated the need to mobilize tens of thousands of military personnel in response to the crisis. Hamas claimed to have captured five IDF personnel during the Israel-Hamas conflict.

This escalation marked the most serious attack on Israel in years, with armed groups crossing the Gaza Strip border and launching a substantial rocket barrage.

Warning sirens sounded across southern and central Israel, prompting Israel’s military to go on a war footing.

Palestinian media reported that several Israelis had been taken captive, while Hamas circulated video footage purportedly showing a destroyed Israeli tank.

In Gaza, rocket launches were audible, and armed clashes along the separation fence near Khan Younis in southern Gaza were reported, with significant armed fighter movement.

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Images shared on social media depicted burning cars and damaged buildings. Israel’s ambulance service reported one fatality and at least 15 individuals wounded due to the attacks.

Hamas fighters were observed trying to reach Israel by sea using small boats, and some even crossed the border using paragliders, engaging in gun battles upon reaching the town of Sderot.

Footage captured fighters entering the town in pickup trucks and on motorcycles. Additionally, Hamas called on armed groups in Lebanon to join the conflict.

Senior Hamas military commander Mohammad Deif announced over 5,000 rockets had been launched, declaring it “the day of the greatest battle to end the last occupation on earth.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asserted the Palestinian people’s right to defend themselves against the “terror of settlers and occupation troops” during an emergency meeting in Ramallah.