A massive assault by Palestinian resistance fighters infiltrating Israeli military bases around the outer edges of the besieged Gaza Strip led to the killing of between 30 and 70 Israelis (different sources have reported different numbers), mainly soldiers. The subsequent bombing of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli airforce and military has led to 198 Palestinians being killed.
In addition to those killed, at least 1,610 Palestinians and 985 Israelis have been wounded.
In addition, the Palestinian resistance captured 35 Israeli soldiers and is holding them hostage.
Twelve hours after the initial attack, the Israeli military spokesperson said that fighting is ongoing in 22 locations in southern Israel in the area around the Gaza Strip, including two locations – Ofakim and Beeri – where hostages are being held. Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, Chief Spokesperson for the Israeli military, stated that, “There is no community in southern Israel where we do not have forces”. He confirmed that Israeli air strikes into the Gaza Strip are ongoing, and warned that ground operations would be imminent.
This is the largest number of Israelis killed by Palestinian fighters in a single attack since the Israeli state was created on historic Palestine in 1948. Israeli forces have killed hundreds of Palestinians in a single assault multiple times, including in 2012, 2016 and 2019 during massive invasions of the Gaza Strip. In 2023 alone, more than 200 Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers and paramilitary settlers, and 30 Israelis were killed by Palestinians.
Videos coming out of Gaza on Saturday show Palestinian civilians fleeing for their lives, as well as civilians emerging through the broken border fence, where they have been imprisoned by Israeli military forces since 2007.
Among the targets of Israeli airstrikes was a high-rise civilian apartment building – the moment of impact was captured in this clip on Sky News.
The people killed are still being identified, but it has been confirmed that among the casualties was a 21-year-old photojournalist, Ibrahim Lafi, who was reporting near the Beit Hanoun (Erez) checkpoint at the separation fence with Israel when he was killed.
According to the Palestinian resistance group Hamas, which claimed credit for the multi-faceted assault on Israeli military bases,
The Palestinian resistance movement’s attack comes in the midst of ongoing attacks on Palestinian civilians, their property and desecration of Muslim and Christian holy sites. During the first eight months of 2023, Israeli paramilitary settler attacks on indigenous Palestinians came at the rate of 3 per day, according to the United Nations.
Gaza now pic.twitter.com/YX3S1mP9ai
— Aya Isleem 🇵🇸 #Gaza (@AyaIsleemEn) October 7, 2023
According to local sources, the Israeli military has been targeting medics, ambulances and residential buildings in Gaza, killing over 198 Palestinians.
Brazil’s foreign ministry, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council, called for an emergency meeting, after expressing ‘unwavering support’ for Israel. All of the other members of the United Nations Security Council are also staunch allies of the Israeli government, including the Israeli military’s biggest funder, the United States.
**This is a breaking news story – more information will be added as it comes in.**