Source: The Jerusalem Post, By Staff, October 7, 2023
N12 was reporting at least 200 Israelis dead. The IDF confirmed Hamas had taken hostages.
3 Hours ago (~ 5:00pm Israel time)
Operation Swords of Iron: Israel hits 100 dead and 900 injured
The Hamas terrorist organization has taken Israelis captive in Gaza, the IDF has confirmed hours after a barrage of rockets slammed into southern and central Israel Saturday.
Hamas terrorists infiltrated the country and took over Southern Israeli towns, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel is at war.
“Since this morning, the State of Israel is at war,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, shortly after the IDF declared “Operation Swords of Iron.”
At least 100 people were announced dead by early evening and more than 900 wounded by Magen David Adom and the Health Ministry. The number of people captured has not yet been confirmed.
Among them, Ofir Liebstein, head of the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, was killed in an exchange of fire with terrorists. Liebstein was killed as he defended his settlement during an attack. Deputy head of the council, Yossi Keren, is currently filling his place.
A second Israeli – a woman in her 60s – was killed when a rocket hit her building in the Gederot Regional Council.
The names and identities of the other victims had not yet been released, but the IDF said the numbers included several soldiers.
Upwards of 2,000 rockets were fired, the IDF said. Sirens sounded multiple times in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and southern Israel.
Shelters were opened across the country.
A direct hit was reported on a building in Ashkelon. Dozens of vehicles also caught fire in the city. Many parts of Ashkelon and the surrounding were without electricity.
In Ramla, four civilians who were trapped under a damaged building were rescued by the Israel Fire and Rescue personnel.
“We urge residents to stay in protected areas, avoid approaching the scenes, and refrain from touching rocket remnants that may contain explosives or similar hazards,” Israel Police said.
“The public is urged to follow the instructions of the Home Front Command to stay close to protected areas, and residents of the Gaza periphery are requested to stay indoors,” the army requested.
‘The State of Israel will win this war’
“The Hamas [terrorist organization] has made a grave mistake this morning and launched a war against the State of Israel. IDF troops are fighting against the enemy at every location,” said Defense Minister Yoav Gallant following a situation assessment, as the IDF struck back with multiple forces.
Dozens of fighter jets and other aircraft of the IDF targeted 17 military facilities and four operational headquarters of the Hamas terrorist organization throughout the Gaza Strip, the IDF said.
“We have combat management over the Gaza Division, including support from combat helicopters; we have control there,” the IDF added. “We are conducting blockades with the Israel Police in all regions. There are airstrikes on several targets, such as tunnels, launchers, and fighter jets striking the border. Hundreds of such strikes have been carried out – resulting in many casualties, including numerous terrorists.
“The main effort is to eliminate all terrorists on the border and anyone attempting to return to the Gaza Strip. We first engage with aerial fire, followed by heavy ground assets,” the army said.
Gallant approved the draft of reserve soldiers per the IDF’s requirements. He also announced a “special security situation” in Israel’s Homefront, within a 0-80 km radius of the Gaza Strip. This status enables the IDF to provide civilians with safety instructions at close relevant sites.
“IDF is targeting all Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said. “Wherever there are Hamas operatives, they will be targeted, they have no immunity.”
Gallant added: “The State of Israel will win this war.”