Hamas militants have reportedly taken control of at least three settlements within the Gaza Strip border area, following an unexpected attack launched by the organization on Saturday morning.
Images and videos have emerged showing armed Hamas members present in several Israeli settlements near the Gaza border, marking a significant escalation in the ongoing conflict.
Since early Saturday morning, Hamas has been conducting a series of attacks on Israel, including launching hundreds of rockets and infiltrating armed operatives into Israeli territory.
Israeli officials report that the attack has resulted in over 300 casualties, with at least 40 individuals in critical condition, according to Israel’s Channel 12.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has confirmed that they are engaged in “ground operations” against Palestinian fighters in the areas surrounding the Gaza Strip, as these militants reportedly infiltrated Israeli territory via both land and sea.
IDF spokesperson Richard Hiket stated during a press briefing, “This was a joint ground operation conducted via both airborne and seaborne operations.”
Disturbing images have also surfaced showing captured Israeli soldiers in a military facility near Gaza after it was reportedly seized by Hamas militants.
As tensions rise, Israel declared a state of “war readiness” on Saturday, following the “joint operation” that included rocket launches and the infiltration of militants from Gaza into Israel. Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Galant, described Hamas’s actions as a “grave mistake.”
Additionally, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant has authorized the widespread mobilization of reserve soldiers, in accordance with the Israeli military’s requirements, according to his office.
Furthermore, the defense minister declared a state of emergency within an 80-kilometer radius of Gaza, granting the Home Front Command authority to impose restrictions on gatherings and movement.
Saturday morning saw dozens of rockets launched from Gaza into Israel, resulting in air raid sirens blaring across the country.
The IDF has confirmed that a number of Palestinian militants successfully infiltrated Israeli territory from Gaza, prompting residents along the border region to stay indoors for their safety.
The situation continues to evolve rapidly, and international observers are closely monitoring developments as the region braces for further escalations in the conflict.