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Hamas Surprise Attack: Gunmen Enter Israel

Hamas launches biggest attack on Israel in years, combining gunmen crossing the border with a heavy barrage of rockets.

In a shocking and unprecedented move, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas launched a massive attack on Israel, combining gunmen crossing the border with a heavy barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip. This surprise assault caught Israel off guard, triggering warning sirens across southern and central Israel, including Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately called an emergency meeting of security officials as Israel's military declared a state of war.

This incident marked the first infiltration by Hamas gunmen into Israel from Gaza, making it the most serious escalation since the 10-day war between Israel and Hamas in 2021. Israeli media reported intense gun battles between Palestinian fighters and security forces in towns in southern Israel, while people in Gaza hurried to buy supplies in anticipation of prolonged conflict.

Hamas military commander Mohammad Deif announced the start of the operation in a broadcast on Hamas media, urging Palestinians worldwide to join the fight. He proclaimed it as the day of the greatest battle to end the last occupation on earth and claimed that 5,000 rockets had been launched.

Tragically, one Israeli woman lost her life, and ambulance crews were dispatched to areas surrounding the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military confirmed that its forces were operating inside Gaza but provided no further details. Meanwhile, reports emerged of gunmen opening fire on civilians in the town of Sderot, and social media footage depicted clashes in city streets and armed militants roaming the countryside.

Palestinian media reported that several Israelis had been taken captive by fighters, and Hamas media circulated video footage showing a destroyed Israeli tank. While the Israeli military acknowledged the reports of captives, no additional information was provided. Prime Minister Netanyahu scheduled a meeting with top security officials, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant authorized the call-up of reservists.

In Gaza, the sound of rocket launches reverberated, and residents reported armed clashes near the separation fence with Israel. The southern town of Khan Younis witnessed significant movement of armed fighters. Israel's ambulance service dispatched teams to areas in southern Israel near Gaza, urging residents to stay indoors.

In a surprising turn of events, a group representing military reservists who had planned to refuse training due to objections against the government's plans to overhaul the judiciary called on reservists to report for duty. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group also declared its fighters' participation in the attack alongside Hamas.

The infiltration of Hamas gunmen into Israel left Palestinians in Gaza in disbelief. One shopkeeper expressed astonishment, stating, "It is like a dream. I still can't believe it, fighters inside our occupied land?"

This attack occurred just a day after Israel commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 1973 war, which nearly led to the country's catastrophic defeat in a surprise attack by Syria and Egypt. The timing of Hamas' assault adds another layer of complexity to an already tense situation in the region.

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