An Israeli man reported seeing multiple bodies and bullet-scarred vehicles in the southern Israeli town of Sderot where groups of Hamas gunmen were still fighting Israeli troops 12 hours after a surprise attack was launched on Saturday.
“At six in the morning I was sleeping, it’s Saturday, a day of holiday, the whole country is resting. Suddenly at six I heard a siren, explosions. I checked on the internet and I saw there is a terrorist infiltration. You can see in the background their bodies. I went out, I saw loads of bodies of terrorists, civilians, cars shot up, sea of bodies, inside Sderot along the road, other places, loads of bodies. It is sad, it is tragic. We are at war. I don’t know when it will all end,” said Shlomi from Sderot.
A Reuters journalist saw a dog walking between dead bodies on the road. The dog then returned to a car and sat in the footwell.
The sudden assault by gunmen who crossed into Israeli villages, killed dozens of people and brought hostages back into the Gaza Strip.
The bodies of Israeli civilians lay strewn across a highway in Sderot, surrounded by broken glass. A woman and a man lay dead dead across the front seats of a car.
Sderot is just 4 km (2 miles) from the Gaza Strip and has been bearing the brunt of previous Palestinian shelling attacks.
Israel responded with massive air strikes deep inside the coastal enclave, killing scores and wounding hundreds of people and vowing unprecedented retaliation.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the assault that had begun in Gaza would spread to the West Bank and Jerusalem.