Assessing World’s Reaction To Surprise Hamas Attack Against Israel
Marking one of the most serious escalations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in years, the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on Saturday.
The assault combined gunmen crossing into several Israeli towns with a heavy barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli military said it had launched air strikes into Gaza, where witnesses reported hearing heavy explosions. Many in Gaza rushed to buy supplies in anticipation of days of conflict ahead.
Hamas Attacks To “End The Last Occupation On Earth”
As warning sirens wailed across the country, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said the Iran-backed Hamas had made a “grave mistake” for launching the surprise attack
.Hamas military commander Mohammad Deif announced the start of the operation in a broadcast on Hamas media, encouraging Palestinians everywhere to join the fight.
“This is the day of the greatest battle to end the last occupation on earth,” he noted, adding 5,000 rockets had been launched as part of the operation.
Israeli Military Aware Of Reports Of Captives: Security Source
Saturday’s attack came a day after Israel marked the 50th anniversary of the 1973 war that brought the country to the verge of catastrophic defeat in an attack by Syria and Egypt.
Hamas media displayed videos of what it said were Palestinian gunmen inside Israeli homes and bodies of Israeli soldiers brought into Gaza by fighters.
The footage needs to be verified. Meanwhile, the Israeli military was aware of reports of captives, a security source said, but provided no further details.
Top Leaders React To Surprise Hamas Attack On Israel
In a tweet on X, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen “unequivocally” condemned the assault, stressing “Israel has the right to defend itself against such heinous attacks.”
On the same platform, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also wrote: “Israel has an absolute right to defend itself,” adding British nationals in Israel should follow travel advice.
Sharing full solidarity with Israel, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said: “Violence and rockets against innocent civilians must stop now.”