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Israel-Palestine crisis escalates after Hamas rockets hit Gaza



Israel-Palestine crisis escalates after Hamas rockets hit Gaza
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Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has declared that Israel was at “war” with the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, after barrages of rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel on Saturday, in response to a surprise assault on the 50th anniversary of the start of the 1973 Yom Kippur war.

“We are at war, not in an operation or rounds, but at war,” the Israeli leader said in a statement, adding Hamas had launched a “murderous surprise attack” on Israel and its people.

“I have ordered an extensive mobilisation of reserves and that we return fire of a magnitude that the enemy has not known. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price,” he added.

Hamas militants infiltrated Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip — including by paraglider and over the sea — and launched more than 2,200 rockets, Israeli military leaders said.

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The confrontation, which has killed at least one person and injured scores of others in Israel, is one of the most serious in years following weeks of rising tensions along the volatile border.

In a rare statement, Hamas military commander, Mohammed Deif, called on Palestinians inside Israel and Israel’s Arab neighbors to join the fight.

Palestinian fighters say they have captured Israelis after crossing into Israel from the Gaza Strip in a large-scale attack.

Hamas, the group running the besieged enclave, said its surprise operation was in response to the desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque and increased settler violence.


Israel has launched air raids on Gaza, where witnesses reported heavy explosions, after Hamas fired thousands of rockets and sent fighters into Israel.

The operation comes after thousands of settlers in recent days carried out provocative tours of the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

It also follows a major uptick of Israeli settler violence against Palestinians over the past year, occurring at a rate of three per day for the first eight months of 2023, according to the United Nations.