By Marisol Bo-oc | 05:10 PM October 07, 2023
Israel on Saturday declared war against Palestine’s Hamas, vowing to avenge a fierce rocket attack that the militants claimed was only their “first strike”. Israeli military have already launched air strikes on the blockaded Gaza strip.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country is at war and Hamas will pay an unprecedented price. “Citizens of Israel, we are at war. This is not an operation, not an escalation – this is war. And we will win. Hamas will pay an unprecedented price,” he said in a video message.
“At the same time, I have ordered an extensive mobilization of reserves and that we return fire of a magnitude that the enemy has not known. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price,” he added.
The Times of Israel reported that over 5,000 rockets pierced the sky towards Israel as loud sires blared across the country on this festive holiday morning. The country’s defence forces also alleged an infiltration by Hamas militants, whom they consider terrorists. Paragliders were used in the attack and cars passing by were fired at on the roads, showed visuals from Israel.
The Guardian reported that Hamas military commander Mohammad Deif announced the start of the operation in a broadcast on Hamas media, calling on Palestinians everywhere to fight.
“This is the day of the greatest battle to end the last occupation on earth,” he said, adding that 5,000 rockets had been launched.
Hamas, the Palestinian militant movement that runs Gaza, claimed responsibility for the rocket attack and called for a general uprising against Israel, CNN reported.
“If you have a gun, get it out. This is the time to use it – get out with trucks, cars, axes, today the best and most honorable history starts,” Hamas military commander Muhammad Al-Deif said in a recorded message.