Hamas’ unprecedented attack on Israel - first day as it happened

Ahram Online , Sunday 8 Oct 2023

Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel in the early hours of Saturday prompting Tel Aviv to declare a state of war. Ahram Online provides updates as events are developing on the ground.

Rockets fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza City, are intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome defe
Rockets fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza City, are intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome defence missile system on October 7, 2023. AFP

03:10 Israel will stop supplying electricity, fuel and goods to Gaza, according to a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office Saturday night.

Netanyahu also said the “first phase” of the counter operation had ended, and that Israel had fought off the majority of Hamas militants.

He vowed to continue the offensive “without reservation and without respite."

02:30 The number of civilians and soldiers captured by Hamas is an unfortunately, a significant number. These are numbers that we have never, ever seen before and these are, they’re unprecedented, and they will force an unprecedented response from Israel,” IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told CNN.

01:30 Talks with Israel on providing US military assistance are "very much underway," a White House senior official said Saturday. He added that an announcement by Washington was possible as early as Sunday.

00:30 More than 300 dead and at least 1,500 have been wounded, Israel Health Ministry announced.

23:45 Israel army announces that the Commander of the Nahal Brigade, COL Jonathan Steinberg was killed during confrontations.

23:30 ​The death toll from the Hamas surprising attack on Israel rises to more than 250, and at least 1,500 have been wounded, Israeli media reported.

23:15 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the army " is about to use all its force to destroy Hamas's capabilities. We'll strike them to the bitter end and avenge with force this black day they brought on Israel and its people." 

"I'm telling the people of Gaza: get out of there now, because we're about to act everywhere with all our force." he concluded 

22:10 The United Nations Security Council will hold closed consultations (8 October, 3 pm) on the Middle East and other matters.

22:00 Israeli army spox says troops are still battling "hundreds" of Palestinian militants at 22 locations inside Israel after they infiltrated from Gaza during a massive dawn rocket barrage. He added that more than 3,000 rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel and that there will be a severe response to this "unprecedented" attack.

21:10 Palestine news agency announced that 232 Palestinians were killed and 1697 wounded following Israel attack on Gaza.

21:05 The death toll from the Hamas group’s massive attack on Israel rises to more than 200, and at least 1,100 have been wounded, Israel's rescue service says.

20:50 A march in Nablus to support the Gazans under attack.

20:40 Israeli sources claim the death doll have risen to more than 150 and at least 1,100 have been injured.

20:05 Israel ordered its state-run electricity company to halt supply to the Gaza Strip. "I have signed an order instructing (Israel) Electric Company to stop the electricity supply to Gaza," Energy Minister Israel Katz said in a statement.

19:45 The Hamas militant group says it is holding “dozens” of Israeli soldiers captive in the Gaza Strip and they are being held in “safe places” and militant tunnels.

19:20 Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said in a speech broadcasted on Al-Aqsa TV: "We are on the verge of a great victory and a clear conquest on the Gaza front. Enough is enough, the cycle of intifadas (uprisings) and revolutions in the battle to liberate our (Palestinian) land and our prisoners languishing in occupation (Israeli) prisons must be completed."

19:05 The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) announced its commitment to strengthening its presence in southern Lebanon, particularly near the border with Israel. The organization stated that it was actively engaged in "counter rocket-launching operations" to bolster border security. This comes following Israeli media reports that Israeli forces had engaged Hezbollah fighters who had attempted to breach Israel's northern border near Metula.

18:45  US President Joe Biden on Saturday warned "against any other party hostile to Israel seeking advantage in this situation" after Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a large-scale surprise attack. Biden said in his statement that he had spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and underlined that the United States stood "ready to offer all appropriate means of support."

18:20 Israel's army launches air strikes on Gaza. Images and videos circulating show several buildings destroyed and set ablaze including the Palestine tower. The Israeli army spox confirmed that Israel was striking targets in Gaza from the air and that ground operations were imminent.

17:30 Israeli media reported that Israeli forces fired on Hezbollah fighters who attempted to breach Israel's north from Lebanon near Metula. The fighters approached the northern border on motorcycles.

17:15  The death toll from the Hamas group’s attack on Israel rises to more than 100, The Times of Israel reported. Health Ministry says so far 908 injured people have been taken to hospitals for treatment in the ongoing attack by Hamas on southern and central Israel.

17:00 At least 198 people were killed in Gaza on Saturday, the health ministry in the Palestinian enclave said, after Hamas militants fired a barrage of rockets into Israel which responded with air strikes. The ministry said up until 4:20 pm (1320 GMT), there were "198 martyrs and 1,610 wounded with different injuries" in the conflict. AFP

16:30 The Pentagon on Saturday reaffirmed the United States' "unwavering" commitment to Israel's right to defend itself and vowed to make sure the key US ally had the means to do so.

"Our commitment to Israel's right to defend itself remains unwavering," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement, adding that his agency would work "to ensure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself and protect civilians from indiscriminate violence and terrorism.", AFP reported.

16:20 German airline Lufthansa is cutting flights to Israel on Saturday following a wave of Palestinian attacks, a spokesman told AFP.

"Given the current security situation in Tel Aviv," Lufthansa will maintain a single flight to Frankfurt but "all other Lufthansa flights to and from Tel Aviv have been cancelled for this Saturday".

15:30 Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is following up on the recent events in Gaza and has directed for intensified Egyptian communications to contain the situation and prevent further escalation between the parties, according to the presidential spokesman.

15:00 At least 40 Israelis have been killed and 740 injured since the start of the massive attack by Hamas, according to the Times of Israel website.

14:45 Hamas announced it had captured a number of Israeli soldiers during its surprise attack early Saturday, with the Israeli Broadcast Authority saying the number could be as high as 35.

14:30 During phone calls with his Jordanian and Emirati counterparts, Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry expressed his deep concern about the serious deterioration between the Palestinian and Israeli sides. He stressed the importance of concentrating international and regional efforts towards stopping the escalation and violence.

14:00 A number of international airlines suspended their flights to Israeli airports, with large numbers of passengers evacuated from Ben Gurin Airport

13:30 Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry stressed the importance of exercising maximum restraint and stopping the ongoing escalation between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, during a phone call with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

12:30 Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned of the "grave consequences" of Saturday’s escalating violence between Palestinian and Israeli sides centred on the Gaza strip, the ministry reported on Saturday.

 

12:14 Israeli daily newspapers Maariv and Haaretz described the first hours of the Palestinian operation as a failure for Israel and its government.

12:00 The Israeli army said fighting is still ongoing with Palestinian militants across several locations in Israel close to the Gaza Strip.

11: 30 Palestinian militants have begun a "war" against Israel, the country's defence minister said Saturday after a barrage of rockets were fired and fighters from the Palestinian enclave infiltrated Israel, in a major escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

 

10:50 Israel's army carried out at least two air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

10:10 Hundreds of residents in the Gaza Strip fled their homes close to the border with Israel after barrages of rockets were fired from the coastal enclave into Israel.

6:57  Dozens of rockets were fired from the blockaded Gaza Strip towards Israel on Saturday as sirens warning of incoming fire blared in Israel.

 

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