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Netanyahu declares ‘Israel at war,’ 3,500+ rockets fired at Israel so far, Hamas claims to kidnap 35 Israelis, IDF mobilizing for massive operation

At least 250 Israelis now confirmed dead, more than 1,450 injured

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu (Photo: Screenshot from I24news)

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL — Israelis are in shock today.

Fifty years to the week after the horrific surprise attacks of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel has entered a dramatic and very dangerous new war this morning.

Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip have launched their own surprise attack – hundreds of rockets have been fired at dozens of Israeli cities, including Jerusalem.

Hamas terrorists have also sent dozens of terrorists to infiltrate Israel.

I’m seeing terrifying videos on X, formerly Twitter, showing bands of Hamas terrorists inside Israeli cities in the south, firing automatic weapons.

Israelis have also been taken hostage – and some have been captured and taken back into Gaza.

This is creating sheer panic among many Israelis in the south.

The scene where a rocket fired from Gaza into Southern Israel, hit and caused damaged in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. Oct. 7, 2023. Photo by Erik Marmor/Flash90

In the nine years we have lived here, I have never seen a series of coordinated terror attacks quite like this.

At least seven rounds of rockets have been fired at Jerusalem, more than ever before.

Emergency sirens have sounded in Jerusalem again and again, forcing us to repeatedly take cover in our bomb shelter.

We keep hearing explosions over Jerusalem, as the rockets have been shot down by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

“This is an unprecedented multidimensional attack on Israel designed to kill and abduct civilians and soldiers,” Jonathan Conricus, former spokesman for the IDF, tells ALL ISRAEL NEWS.

“As the extent of Israeli casualties will be confirmed, I expect an Israeli response never seen before,” Conricus said. “This is just the beginning.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, security cabinet officials, and senior IDF officials are assessing the situation and planning their response.

Before a cabinet meeting, Netanyahu put out a statement declaring: "Citizens of Israel, we are at war. This isn’t an operation, not another 'round,' but war."

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issued the following statement on the X: “Hamas terrorists made a grave mistake this morning and launched a war against Israel. IDF troops are fighting the enemy at every location. I call on all of Israel’s citizens to follow security instructions. The State of Israel will win this war.”

Israel Air Force jets are currently striking targets in Gaza.

Here are the latest details from this fast-moving story.

• Hamas is claiming to have kidnapped 35 Israelis, though this number has not been confirmed by the IDF.

• The IDF has confirmed that more than 3,500 rockets have been fired at Israel since 6:30 a.m.

• At least 250 Israelis have been killed from both rocket fire and the Hamas terrorists who infiltrated Israeli border towns.

• More than 1,450 Israeli civilians have been injured so far.

•The IDF spokesperson has announced that the name of the IDF retaliation operation against the Hamas terrorist organization is Operation "Swords of Iron.”

Netanyahu just issued a statement on X:

Citizens of Israel, we are at war. This isn’t an operation, not another “round,” but war. This morning Hamas launched a murderous surprise attack against the State of Israel and its citizens. We've been at it since early morning.

I convened the heads of the security system, first of all, I ordered to cleanse the settlements of the terrorists who infiltrated - this operation is being carried out during these hours.

At the same time, I ordered an extensive reserve mobilization and a retaliatory war of a strength and scope that the enemy did not know yet. The enemy will pay a price he has never known.

In the meantime, I call on all citizens of Israel to strictly obey the instructions of the army and the instructions of the Home Command. We are in a war and we will win it.

Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.

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