BREAKING NEWS: Israel Launches Operation Iron Swords in Response to Massive HAMAS Attacks

October 7, 2023 - In a sudden and unprecedented escalation, approximately 5,000 rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory this morning, as reported by the Israeli Air Force. This marks one of the largest attacks on Israel in recent history. In response to these aggressive actions, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has initiated Military Operation "Iron Swords". Israel has also declared a 'state of war' as of this morning.
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Israel Defense Forces deploy soldiers in the framework of the Military Operation "Swords of Iron". (Picture source Israeli Mod)

In a parallel development, multiple armed militants from Hamas managed to infiltrate Israeli territory, crossing the border into southern regions. Reports are emerging that these militants have captured Israeli soldiers and have successfully targeted and destroyed Israeli Merkava 4 tank and Namer APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) as well as other military equipment.

As per the latest reports from Israeli media, six Israeli citizens have lost their lives, with approximately 200 others injured. Among the injured, at least two dozen are in serious or critical condition, as of a 2 p.m. update.

Approximately 1,000 Palestinian militants entered Israel from Gaza utilizing vehicles such as trucks, pickup trucks, motorcycles, bulldozers, and paragliders. Online platforms and social media showcased images and footage of these armed militants, donning black uniforms and masks, driving pickup trucks in Sderot and engaging in gunfire, resulting in the deaths of multiple Israeli civilians and military personnel.

The Israeli military is currently engaged in intense combat with Hamas terrorists in various locations in Southern Israel, especially near the border with the Gaza Strip. Towns under direct threat include Kfar Aza, Sderot, Sufa, Nahal Oz, Magen, and Be'eri. The Re'im military base is also reportedly under attack.

Hamas, formally known as "Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya" or the "Islamic Resistance Movement," is a Palestinian political and militant group that emerged in 1987 during the First Intifada, a Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule in the Occupied Territories. The charter of Hamas, written in the same year, advocated for the establishment of an Islamic state in historic Palestine and the elimination of Israel. Over the decades, the relationship between Hamas and Israel has been marked by profound animosity, with periods of intense conflict and violence.

One of the most pressing threats from Hamas to Israel is its capability to launch rocket attacks. Over the years, Hamas has fired thousands of these rockets, targeting both military installations and civilian areas in Israel. In addition to rockets, Hamas has built an intricate network of tunnels beneath the Gaza-Israel border. These tunnels serve multiple purposes, from smuggling weapons and goods to facilitating attacks on Israeli soil.

During the Second Intifada, which spanned from 2000 to 2005, Hamas claimed responsibility for numerous suicide bombings in Israel. These attacks targeted public places like buses and restaurants, causing significant civilian casualties. Beyond direct attacks, Hamas has also engaged in kidnappings, occasionally abducting Israeli soldiers or civilians, either to gain political leverage or in the hopes of orchestrating prisoner exchanges.

In more recent years, another tactic employed by Hamas and affiliated groups has been the use of balloons and kites equipped with incendiary devices. These are released into the air to drift into Israeli territory, where they ignite fires in farmlands and forests, causing environmental and economic damage.

The rhetoric and propaganda disseminated by Hamas often contain potent anti-Israel and, at times, anti-Semitic elements. This kind of rhetoric can incite further violence and deepen the hostilities between the two sides. Furthermore, Hamas's alliances with other militant groups in the region, many of which also harbor hostility towards Israel, can compound the threat, especially if these entities collaborate on attacks or pool their resources.

Defense News October 2023