( – BREAKING NEWS NOW: While most Americans were asleep, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced to the world through a post to X, formerly Twitter, “Citizens of Israel: We are at war.”

Specifically, based on several news sources, the following is known.

The Islamist group Hamas initiated its most significant assault on Israel in years, launching 5,000 rockets and conducting gunman attacks early on Saturday morning.

The unexpected offensive commenced with a relentless barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, followed by reports of gunmen crossing the border. The attack killed at least 22, including a 60-year-old woman. As warning sirens blared throughout southern and central Israel, including the historic city of Jerusalem, the Israeli military promptly declared a state of war alert. In response to the escalating situation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an emergency meeting of top security officials.

The first wave of rockets was reportedly unleashed at approximately 6:30 a.m. local time on Saturday when most Israelis would typically be asleep. The Israel Defense Forces stated, “Over the last hour, the Hamas terrorist organization had begun a massive shooting of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, and terrorists infiltrated into Israeli territory in a number of different locations.”

Hamas’ military commander, Mohammad Deif, made a global announcement as he declared the initiation of the operation named “Al-Aqsa Storm.” Deif’s call resonated widely, encouraging Palestinians everywhere to join the fight, stating, “If you have a gun, get it out. This is the time to use it — get out with trucks, cars, axes; today, the best and most honorable history starts.” Deif also mentioned that their group had “targeted the enemy positions, airports, and military positions with 5,000 rockets.”

Israeli President Isaac Herzog expressed his support, saying, “I wish to offer strength to the commanders and soldiers of the IDF, and to all the security forces and rescue services. I send my encouragement and strength to all the residents of Israel who are under attack.”

Gaza, located along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea and bordering Israel and Egypt, is one of the world’s most densely populated areas, housing almost 2 million people within 140 square miles.

This attack occurred on the typically joyous observance of Simchat Torah when Jews conclude their yearly cycle of reading the Torah scroll. It also happened nearly 50 years to the day after a coalition of Arab states, led by Egypt and Syria, launched a surprise attack on Israel during Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, in 1973.


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