Hospitals collapsed due to the flow of injured people, which amounted to 1,590 people, and the country was shocked.
Hamas surprise attack: An unprecedented tragedy
Last Saturday, communities in southern Israel experienced a nightmare when the terrorist group Hamas launched an unexpected attack. In an extraordinary act of aggression, Hamas militants penetrated 22 areas beyond Gaza, some as far as 15 miles from the border.
These raids led to intense firefights, affecting civilians and soldiers alike. As the night progressed, news of hostages being held by terrorists in several cities began to circulate.
The toll, which increased as the hours went by, recorded 250 dead and more than 1,500 injured. Among those affected were attendees at an outdoor event, which became a target for extremists.
Israel Response: Mobilization and Defense
With hospitals collapsing under the influx of wounded, which numbered 1,590 people, and a country in a state of shock, the IDF intensified its efforts to combat the threat. 18 hours after the start of the attack, the fight to eradicate the terrorists from the affected areas continued.
Additionally, the Iron Dome defense system was activated several times due to rockets heading towards central and southern areas of Israel. Despite their efforts, some projectiles managed to hit, causing severe injuries to several citizens.
Social media was filled with images and videos showing the horror of the attacks. The IDF acknowledged that soldiers and civilians had been kidnapped, although the exact number was not disclosed.
Reactions and future steps
The disaster generated deep questioning at the national level. Critical voices were raised about the failures in intelligence and strategy that allowed an attack of such magnitude. It was questioned how it was possible that such a large number of terrorists could enter civilian communities.
At the same time, Israel initiated military actions in response, promising they would be unprecedented. On the same day of the attack, the army carried out offensives against Hamas positions in Gaza. According to Gaza sources, the death toll was at least 230.
In a show of preparation and firmness, the army announced the call-up of four reservist divisions on the border with Gaza. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed that Israel was in a state of war, even proposing the creation of an emergency government.
Prime Minister’s Speech: Confrontation with Hamas
In an emotional speech, Israel’s leader highlighted the seriousness of recent events. He mentioned his country’s determination by stating: “Hamas wants to kill us all.” Described as an unprecedented event, Netanyahu promised firm action against terrorists.
With a stern tone, he reiterated the danger Hamas represents by “murdering children and mothers in their homes” and its ability to kidnap vulnerable populations.
Local media reports indicated that, with the arrival of night, Israel managed to regain control of various communities, although some were still facing conflicts.
Hot spots and Israeli counterattacks
Intense clashes were reported at the Sderot police station, and a hostage situation in Ofakim. Additionally, it dealt with shootings in Netivot and rescue efforts at Kibbutz Be’eri, where Hamas held Israelis.
The images shared showed civilians falling on streets and highways in the south. For its part, the IDF continued its operation in areas infiltrated by terrorists, managing to free numerous civilians.
The Israeli military reported several successful counterattacks, including eliminating terrorists near the borders and in southern locations.
Military reactions and human losses
The IDF confirmed neutralizing numerous terrorists in combined operations, including drone strikes in strategic areas.
Additionally, they regained control of the Re’im military base in southern Israel. However, this victory came with the tragic price of the death of Colonel Jonathan Steinberg in clashes in the Kerem Shalom area.
Channel 12 reported disturbing scenes at Kibbutz Re’im, where gunfire brutally interrupted a party, leading to chaos and panic among attendees.
Israel intensifies operations against Hamas after surprise attack
The Israeli IDF responds to terrorist attacks while discussing political and strategic measures amid the conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Attacks and reprisals in the Gaza Strip
The process of identifying recent victims is underway. On Saturday, the IDF reported attacking various terrorist factions in southern Israel and Hamas strategic points in the Gaza Strip. As a result, power supply has been disrupted in the coastal region.
Israeli drones and aircraft have hit 17 military bases and four significant buildings and skyscrapers linked to Hamas. Specifically, the “Palestine” building housed intelligence and weapons production divisions of the terrorist group.
Another critical structure functioned as Hamas’s security headquarters. Additionally, two more skyscrapers in the region were linked to Hamas assets, and residents were warned before the attacks.
Political movements amid the conflict
Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, has held talks with the opposition Yesh Atid and National Unity parties to evaluate the formation of an emergency government in the wake of recent Hamas attacks.
During the talks, Netanyahu compared this possible coalition to Levi Eshkol’s government before the Six-Day War. While Benny Gantz is considering joining, he has emphasized that he would focus solely on security challenges.
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid expressed his willingness to be part of a “professional, emergency government” but suggested changes to the current cabinet structure to accommodate his participation.
International reactions and support for Israel
The global community has expressed its dismay at the recent attacks. However, Iran, a recognized adversary of Israel, has supported the attacks.
United States President Joe Biden has reaffirmed his nation’s commitment to Israel. In a recent call to Netanyahu, Biden expressed his strong support for Israel, reiterating that “they will never stop supporting them.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken reinforced this sentiment.
Netanyahu thanked the United States for solidarity, foreseeing an extended campaign in which Israel will emerge triumphant. On the other hand, the United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, assured that they will ensure that Israel has the necessary resources to protect itself.