Hamas terrorists infiltrated areas of southern Israel as rocket barrages launched from the Gaza Strip struck the region on Saturday in an attack the Islamist movement Hamas is taking responsibility for.
Pictures from the Associated Press and Israeli news agency TPS captured the full series of events, from the initial rocket attack out of Gaza to the aftermath, with Israeli emergency services fighting fires and helping victims reach hospitals for treatment.
Israeli media reported that at least 100 people have so far been killed in the wide-ranging assault, while Gaza health officials say that 198 Palestinians have died in Israeli air strikes made in response to the Hamas attack. Hospitals are treating at least 561 wounded people, including 77 who were in critical condition, the Associated Press reported based on public statements and calls to hospitals.
Ambulance crews responded to areas around the Gaza Strip, and sirens sounded across Israel. Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva, the largest town in southern Israel, is treating 140 wounded, including 20 in serious and critical condition. Some of these wounded people are civilians. Another hospital in Ashkelon is treating 94 victims wounded in various conditions.
Adele Raemer, a resident of Kibbutz Nirim in Israel, described how she locked herself in her own home as terrorists outside tried to break in.
“Since about 6:30 this morning, it’s now 2 p.m., we’ve been under heavy rocket attack. And since, I would say 7 or 8, we’ve been told that our Kibbutz has been infiltrated by terrorists,” Ramer says in a video interview to Israeli news agency TPS.
“They’ve been going door to door, knocking on the doors, trying to break in. They broke through the slats on my window. We’re hunkering down and staying here and waiting for the army to come save us.”
Dozens of IDF fighter jets were seen delivering strikes to a number of targets belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip.
In accordance with assessments by Israel’s defense establishment, Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant has announced a “special security situation” in Israel’s homefront, within a 0-80 km radius from the Gaza Strip that enables the IDF to provide civilians with safety instructions and close relevant sites.
Today’s attack occurs after Sukkot, the fall Jewish holidays. Simchat Torah means “Rejoicing in Torah.” This holiday celebrates the completion of the annual reading of the entire Torah together in synagogues across the country and the world. The final portion of the book of Deuteronomy is read, then the annual cycle of Torah readings begins again with Genesis.
It is a joyous holiday often celebrated with dancing and singing. Simchat Torah is one of the few times each year that all scrolls are taken out of the ark that houses them. This year, the combined holiday started on the evening of October 6 and will conclude after sunset on October 8th.