‘State of war’ declared in Israel after Hamas fires 5,000 rockets, infiltrates the country

NEW DELHI | Updated: 07 October, 2023 3:00 pm IST
Smoke rises across the cityscape, darkening the skies of Israel

NEW DELHI: On Saturday, the Palestinian Islamist organisation Hamas carried out its biggest attack on Israel in years, launching a surprising assault that involved armed people infiltrating several Israeli towns and a significant barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

Israeli authorities have issued an announcement indicating a “state of war” across the nation, resulting in widespread activation of bomb sirens. More than 5,000 rockets have been launched into Israel, causing significant disruptions and chaos throughout the entire country.

Several videos circulating on social media depict Hamas members ransacking the state. The city of Jerusalem and its adjacent regions are also witnessing a tumultuous situation. The Israeli Defence Force has designated these areas as unstable, and civilians have been advised to seek shelter indoors to protect themselves from the attacks by the militant group.

Many civilians have sought refuge in bomb shelters and secure rooms to shield themselves from the ongoing and persistent attacks. Maya Kadosh, the National Coordinator for the United Nations Climate Change Conference for Israel, took to the microblogging site, X, and remarked, “My home is under attack for the last 3 hours , sirens are wailing and  we can clearly hear the incoming rockets. The entire family is in the safe room and we are ok. I will keep you all updated, thank you for the messages of support.”


According to reports, a significant portion of Southern Israel has experienced infiltrations, with cities such as Ashkelon and the capital city, Tel Aviv, being subjected to continuous gunfire. Reports have indicated that the infiltrating militants have allegedly kidnapped several civilians and political figures. However, official statistics have not yet been disclosed.

The Israeli ambassador to India, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan emphasised that the Hamas militants had chosen to target Israelis during their most vulnerable time, which was during the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah.

 

The infiltrators had claimed ownership of the rocket attacks to “put an end to all the crimes of the occupation”. They declared, “We decided to put an end to all the crimes of the occupation (Israel), their time for rampaging without being held accountable is over. We announced Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and we fired, in the first strike of 20 minutes, more than 5,000 rockets.”

As per an AFP report, hundreds of Palestinian residents along Israeli borders on the Gaza Strip have fled to more secure areas. Hamas’ attack arrived in the wake of Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip alongside Jenin in Palestine, from May through June, this year. The contentious territory has been blockaded by Israel for over a decade since 2007.

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