Israel and Gaza at War: Hamas Launches Surprise Attack, Killing Dozens of Israelis

On Saturday, October 7, 2023, Israel and Gaza were at war after dozens of gunmen from the Palestinian militant group Hamas infiltrated southern Israel in a stunning surprise attack. The attack coincided with a major Jewish holiday, Simchat Torah, and the 50th anniversary of the start of the 1973 Yom Kippur war.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas, calling the attack "not an ‘operation,’ not a ‘round,’ but a ‘war.’”

Hamas militants launched thousands of rockets into Israel overnight and into the morning. Israel’s national rescue service said at least 40 people were killed and hundreds wounded. The Palestinian Health Ministry reported injuries among “many citizens” without giving numbers.

Air raids sounded across Israel's border with Gaza and in Jerusalem. Explosions were heard in Tel Aviv.

Israel’s military mobilized reservists for all IDF units, a spokesperson for the IDF said.

At least 40 people have been killed in the attack, according to Israel’s national rescue service. Hundreds more have been wounded.

Hospitals in southern Israel are overwhelmed with casualties. The Soroka Medical Center in southern Israel reported it was treating 280 casualties, with 60 in critical condition. The Barzilai Hospital in Israel reported that it was treating 182 wounded people.

The international community has condemned the attack by Hamas. The United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations have called for an immediate ceasefire.