The IAF stikes a terrorist target in the Gaza Strip, Oct. 7, 2023. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS.
(JNS) — The Israel Air Force Forces on Saturday attacked 17 “military” compounds and four operational headquarters of the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas killed at least 22 Israelis earlier in the day as the organization fired 2,500 rockets at the country’s South and Center and dispatched dozens of terrorists into communities located along the Gaza border.
At least 545 Israelis were evacuated to hospitals across the country, the Health Ministry said. Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva alone admitted 80 of the wounded in serious condition and 10 in critical condition.
The Palestinian rocket fire began a few minutes before 7 a.m., a day after Israel marked the 50th anniversary (on the Gregorian calendar) of the surprise Egyptian and Syrian attack that started the Yom Kippur War.
Rocket alert sirens were activated as far south as Arad and Dimona, in Tel Aviv in the central region and in Jerusalem in the mountains.
Hamas terrorists penetrated several Israeli communities, with footage circulating online showing Palestinians driving vehicles and opening fire on civilians in the city of Sderot.
In response, the IDF engaged the invading terrorists and dozens of fighter jets carried out air strikes on Hamas assets in Gaza.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a security meeting at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv attended by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and other high-ranking officials.
The Israel Defense Forces was ordered to a “state of war readiness” and Gallant authorized the call-up of reserve troops.
He also announced a “special security situation” within 80 kilometers of the Gaza Strip, enabling the IDF to close relevant sites and impose safety restrictions on the population.
The IDF later announced the launch of an operation named “Iron Swords.”