Palestinian terrorists launched a massive rocket barrage from Gaza targeting cities in south and central Israel at 6:30 Saturday morning. Hundreds of Palestinian terrorists infiltrated into Israel crossing at multiple points, and carrying out a murderous rampage in the streets of Sderot. At least 300 Israelis were killed and over 1,800 wounded. Footage shows Palestinian terrorists driving around Sderot and murdering Jewish civilians in the streets. There are also reports of terrorists in the streets of Kibbutz Beeri. Hamas claimed to be holding 163 Israelis hostage in Gaza.
There are reported to still be 22 “active” areas in southern Israel, where gunmen are still active or feared to be in the field.
Unverified footage from the Gaza Strip purported to show Hamas terrorists with the body of an IDF soldier taken from Israel during the attack. Another video appeared to show Palestinian terrorists dragging away a live Israeli soldier on a motorcycle.
Other images showed terrorists atop an IDF tank.
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told reporters that more than 2,200 rockets fired into Israel since 6:30 AM. Red Alert warning sirens were sounded as far away as Tel Aviv. Direct hits on buildings were reported in Ashkelon, the Gederot region and Tel Aviv.
Two hours later, the IDF launched the operation “Swords of Iron” in response to Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel.
A massive call-up of reservists went out as the IDF said it was moving to a “state of war”. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared an emergency situation within a range of 80 kilometers from the Gaza Strip.
School was canceled across Israel. Gatherings were also restricted to 10 people outdoors and 50 people indoors in those areas, the Home Front Command said.
The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip said 198 Palestinians were killed and another 1,610 were wounded as of Saturday afternoon.
This is a developing story and will be updated.