Israel was surprised by the most ambitious operation Hamas has ever launched from Gaza.
The scale of what’s been happening is unprecedented. In the most severe cross-border attack Israel has faced in more than a generation, Hamas breached the wire that separates Gaza from Israel in multiple places.
It came a day after the 50th anniversary of the surprise attack by Egypt and Syria in 1973 that started a major Middle East war.
The date’s significance will not have been lost on the Hamas leadership.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his country is at war and will exact a heavy price from its enemies.
Videos and photos of dead Israelis, civilians as well as soldiers, are all over social media.
Other videos of armed men from Hamas hauling soldiers and civilians into captivity in Gaza have enraged and alarmed Israelis.
Within hours, Israel responded with air strikes into Gaza, killing many Palestinians.
Its generals will be planning a ground operation next.
The presence of Israeli hostages there means it will be even more complicated than previous incursions.
More than 230 people have been killed in retaliatory Israeli strikes in the Gaza strip, officials there say
Tel Aviv and other central Israeli cities have been hit by a new barrage of rockets launched on Saturday evening
Hamas commander Mohammed Deif says the Palestinian militant group had “decided to say enough is enough”
US support for Israel is “rock solid”, says President Joe Biden, pledging to make sure “they can continue to defend themselves”
In his statement, the Israeli PM says what has happened today has never been seen in Israel, and Israel will take “mighty vengeance for this black day”, news agency Reuters reports.