Israeli forces are trying to to regain control of combat areas following Hamas’s invasion Saturday, Fox News reported. Fighting reportedly broke out in nearly two dozen locations along the Gaza border, according to the outlet.
“There is no community in Southern Israel where we do not have forces in all the towns,” spokesperson Daniel Hagari of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement Saturday evening, per Fox News. “There are communities that have been rid of terrorists, but we want to finish additional scans of the area before declaring so.”
There were still “active battles between Israeli security forces and terrorists inside Gaza,” Lt. Col. (Res.) Jonathan Conricus of the IDF told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, according to The Hill.
“Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to re-establish full control over all of our communities and all of our bases” but doing so remains a “top priority,” Lt. Col. (Res.) Conricus added.
Since 6AM today in Israel:
🔺3,000+ rockets launched by Hamas in Gaza toward Israel.
🔺20+ communities in southern Israel invaded by Hamas terrorist operatives.
🔺Terrorists rampaged and broke into homes—massacring civilians.
🔺Israeli civilians and soldiers have been…
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 7, 2023
The attacks started with a barrage of missiles fired into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip early Saturday morning before gunmen crossed into the country. (RELATED: Biden Palestinian Affairs Office Scrubs Post Telling Israel To ‘Refrain From Violence’ Amid Hamas Attacks)
“I see moms with babies being taken by terrorists and as a mother myself I can’t even comprehend that it’s actually real,” dual U.S./Israeli citizen Noga Kamenetsky, who resides in Israel, told the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF).
This morning, approximately 2,200 rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory.
In parallel, a number of terrorists infiltrated into Israeli territory in southern Israel.
In response, the IDF has launched Operation “Swords of Iron”. pic.twitter.com/cBaYeaSOcu
— Israeli Air Force (@IAFsite) October 7, 2023
The Israeli response has been swift with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring the country was “at war” while the Israeli Air Force (IAF) announced airstrikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
Amid the forceful response, Israel suffered losses including the death of Col. Jonathan Steinberg, the commander of the IDF’s Nahal Brigade, while Hamas said they had captured IDF soldiers, the AP reported.
“We will fight according to international law, we will fight according to our morals, and we will fight in order to defend our civilians,” Lt. Col. (Res.) Conricus said video statement posted on X (formerly Twitter).
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following a meeting of the Israeli government’s security cabinet, stated per Fox News, “We are embarking on a long and difficult war that was forced on us by a murderous Hamas attack. The first stage is ending at this time by the destruction of the vast majority of the enemy forces that infiltrated our territory. At the same time, we have begun the offensive phase, which will continue with neither limitations nor respite until the objectives are achieved. We will restore security to the citizens of Israel and we will win.”