Operation al-Aqsa Storm: 100 Israelis killed, 900 injured in surprise Palestinian attack
At least 100 Israelis have been killed and over 900 injured after Palestinians launched their biggest operation against Israel in years in a surprise offensive that combined fighters crossing the fence into Israeli occupied cities with a heavy barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip.
The figure for fatalities and injuries was reported by Israeli media, citing the Israeli ambulance service.
Videos purportedly showed resistance fighters inside a military base on Saturday, as bodies of dead soldiers lied on the ground.
The Times of Israeli said Palestinian fighters infiltrated the town of Sderot and other settlements.
Hamas released a video showing its fighters had captured three Israelis.
"Scenes of Al-Qassam Brigades capturing a number of enemy soldiers in the battle of Al-Aqsa Flood," said a sentence appearing on a black background at the start of the video.
Signs in Hebrew in the background suggested the footage was filmed on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing to the Gaza Strip. Other videos circulating on social media showed bodies of a number of people in military fatigues.
The unprecedented offensive started a few minutes before 7 a.m. as Israelis celebrated the last day of the weeklong Sukkot festival, with hundreds of rockets fired at Israel.
Videos showed young Israelis fleeing in panic when Palestinian fighters raided a music festival in the desert.
Red alert warning sirens were activated in Tel Aviv, Sde Boker, Arad, and Dimona in the south as explosions were heard by residents on Saturday. In al-Quds, rocket sirens sounded followed by the sound of explosions.
Cars were seen on fire after a rocket landed in Ashkelon, southern Israel.
Hamas' armed wing said more than 7,000 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel on Saturday, declaring it had started "Operation al-Aqsa Storm".
"We decided to put an end to all the crimes of the occupation, their time for rampaging without being held accountable is over," Hamas said.