Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today said that his country was “at war” after the Palestine-based Hamas group attacked the nation, leaving an estimated 40 Israeli people dead. He warned that “the enemy will pay an unprecedented price”.
According to reports, Hamas group members fired thousands of rockets into Israel and gunmen crossed the border with the Gaza Strip and invaded multiple Israeli towns, triggering acute tension in the region.
“We have been in this since the early morning hours. I have convened the heads of the defence establishment. I’ve given directives to clear the [affected] urban areas of the terrorists who penetrated them,” Netanyahu said. “This is happening right now.”
Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said that Hamas had committed a “mistake” by attacking Israel. “The State of Israel will win this war,” he was quoted as saying by The Times of Israel.
Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist, militant, and nationalist organisation. It has a social service wing, Dawah, and a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. It won the 2006 Palestinian legislative election and became the de facto governing authority of the Gaza Strip following the 2007 Battle of Gaza. Hamas also holds a majority in the parliament of the Palestinian National Authority.