Tel Aviv [Israel]: In his first reaction after Hamas launched a "surprise attack", Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday said Israel "was at war" and has ordered mobilization of reserves to give it back with the magnitude the enemy has not expected, asserting that they will "win it"
In a video statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, Netanyahu stated, "We are at war, not in an operation or in rounds, but at war. This morning, Hamas launched a murderous surprise attack against the State of Israel and its citizens. We have been in this since the early morning hours. I convened the heads of the security establishment and ordered, first of all, to clear out the communities that have been infiltrated by terrorists. This currently is being carried out."
Netanyahu has ordered the mobilization of reserves. He called on citizens of Israel to adhere to the directives of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Home Front Command.
"At the same time, I have ordered an extensive mobilization of reserves and that we return fire of a magnitude that the enemy has not known. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price. In the meantime, I call on the citizens of Israel to strictly adhere to the directives of the IDF and Home Front Command. We are at war and we will win it," Netanyahu said.
The death toll in Israel from the Hamas rocket fire rose to 22, The Times of Israel reported. At least 22 people have been killed since Hamas terror group began its attacks, according to Magen David Adom emergency service. The spokesperson further said that more than 70 people have been injured.
The Israel Defence Forces on Saturday launched operation 'Iron Swords' in response to Hamas's surprise attack on Israel, the Times of Israel reported.
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 said in a post on 'X'.
The Israeli military is fighting Hamas terrorists in different locations in Southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip, including the towns of Kfar Aza, Sderot, Sufa, Nahal Oz, Magen, Be'eri and the Re'im military base.
IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari stated that over 2200 rockets were fired into Israel since 6:30 am on Saturday, the report said. The firing took place for more than 3.5 hours.Hagari said that Hamas terrorists infiltrated from land, sea and air.
He further added that the re are at least seven sites of fighting between Hamas and IDF troops. Israel's military is expecting to draft tens of thousands of soldiers, the report said. Hamas claimed to have kidnapped five IDF soldiers.
Israel Defence Minister Yoav Gallant approved the draft of reserve soldiers in accordance with the Isreael Defence Force's requirements.He further announced a "special security situation" in Israel's Homefront, within a 0-80 km radius of the Gaza Strip, The Jerusalem Post reported, adding that this further enabled the IDF to provide civilians with safety instructions at "close and relevant sites".
The daily reported earlier that after a barrage of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, Hamas fighters infiltrated Israel. Following the attack, red alert warning sirens were activated in Tel Aviv, located around 70 kilometres from the Gaza Strip, as well as, Sde Boker, Arad, and Dimona in the south.