Hamas gunmen kidnapped Israeli grandmothers and took them to the Gaza Strip on golf carts, while reportedly kidnapping more than 50 civilians.
Hamas, the de facto ruling authority in the Gaza Strip, claims to have fired 5,000 rockets into Israel, setting off air raid sirens over Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Israel vowed revenge on Palestinian militants after they launched the surprise attack, warning Hamas they had made a “grave mistake.”
Residents living near the Israel-Gaza border were ordered to stay indoors and others evacuated after Hamas militants infiltrated the country by land, sea and air and launched a barrage of missile strikes.
Ella, a resident of Beeri in the kibbutz, told Channel 12 that she could hear “many gunshots” nearby.
A captured woman sat in the front seat of a golf cart, accompanied by three male Hamas operatives as they headed toward the Gaza Strip.
Another image shows a woman being held hostage, holding a gun and raising her hands in a peace sign alongside a Hamas member wearing a balaclava.
Another southerner worries that his family has been kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip.
He said his wife and daughters were missing and he tried to call them but no one answered.
He then tracked his wife’s phone, which showed him to be in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip.
This comes amid unconfirmed reports that Hamas gunmen are holding hostages at the kibbutz.
According to the N12 channel, around fifty Israelis of all ages were taken hostage by Hamas gunmen in Kibbutz Beeri, near the border with Gaza.
Photos show elderly Israeli women being transported on golf carts and motorcycles from the kibbutz to the Gaza Strip.
A grandmother was trapped between two Hamas members on motorcycles. One of them was holding a large weapon.
A captured woman sat in the front seat of a golf cart, accompanied by three male Hamas members as they headed toward the Gaza Strip.
Another image showed a woman holding a gun and raising her hands in a peace sign alongside a Hamas member wearing a balaclava.
A senior Hamas leader, Saleh al-Arouri, said the group had enough hostages to allow Israel to release all of its Palestinian prisoners.
The killing of civilians drew widespread condemnation from world leaders and prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare the country was at “war.”
Benjamin Netanyahu vowed militants would pay “unprecedented price” after their attacks killed at least 40 Israelis; Palestinian officials have since claimed that 161 people were killed in Israeli retaliatory strikes.
Speaking in a televised address, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Hamas had made a “grave mistake… and launched a war against the State of Israel,” vowing that “Israel would win.”
A grandmother was trapped between two Hamas members on a motorcycle, one of them holding a large weapon.
Hamas claimed to have fired 5,000 rockets at Israel from the occupied Gaza Strip, triggering air raid sirens over Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Recent footage shows horrific scenes, including celebrating Palestinian groups as they parade the naked body of a female IDF soldier in a truck through Gaza.
The coordinated attack saw border barriers destroyed, tanks immobilized, dozens of hostages reportedly taken and residential buildings targeted by airstrikes.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “shocked” by the attacks, writing on X, formerly Twitter: “Israel has the absolute right to defend itself. We are in contact with the Israeli authorities and British nationals in Israel should follow the travel advice.
Videos on social media appeared to show armed troops from the Al-Qassam Brigades, the militant wing of Hamas, moving through built-up areas firing weapons as Israeli residents were evacuated from their homes following strikes aerial.
In a statement posted on Telegram, Hamas called on “resistance fighters in the West Bank” as well as “our Arab and Islamic nations” to join the battle.
In comments reported by CNN, militant commander Deif said: “If you have a weapon, take it out. Now’s the time to use it – get out there with trucks, cars, axes. Today begins the best and most honorable story.
“Today, the people are rediscovering their revolution,” he added, in other statements reported by AP, calling on Palestinians in East Jerusalem in northern Israel to “expel the occupiers and demolish the walls”.
In response, Israeli forces vowed that Hamas “face the consequences and responsibility of these events.”
In response, the army began striking targets in Gaza and deployed countermeasures to repel further air attacks, prompting renewed rocket fire from inside the blockaded territory.
In a filmed statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, following the attacks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the incursion was a “deadly surprise attack,” adding: “We are at war, not an operation, not rounds, but at war.
Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip since winning parliamentary elections in 2006 and toppling the rival Fatah party in a power struggle during the bloody 2007 Battle of Gaza.
At least 118 people were killed and more than 550 injured during the fighting until June 15, 2007, when Hamas militants ousted Fatah officials and seized power.
In response, Israel imposed a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The conflict ended the “unity government” administering Gaza and the West Bank, with the Palestinian National Authority overseeing the eastern territory independently.
Although the Palestinian National Authority still claims Gaza, the city remains under Hamas control.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan expressed his thoughts on the conflict on X, formerly known as Twitter.
He wrote: “The news coming out of Israel is deeply distressing. I condemn the terrorist acts of Hamas and my thoughts are with those affected and those who have lost loved ones.