More than 450 people were killed and over 1500 injured on both sides on the first day of war in Israel, according to officials, as the attack by Palestinian Hamas-led armed groups entered its second day, joined by Hezbollah from Lebanon.
The number of casualties had risen to 700 dead and 2,100 injured in Israel alone by Sunday evening.
The invasion, which started in the early morning hours of Saturday from the Gaza Strip, is described as one of the broadest of Israel’s territory in 50 years.
The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday at 7 p.m. GMT to address the violence in the Middle East, the body said in a statement.
— Nic Robertson (@NicRobertsonCNN) October 8, 2023
Palestinian militants attack Israel from Gaza and Lebanon
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Saturday that his country was at war after Palestinian Hamas militants launched a large-scale attack in the early morning hours.
The assault involved both gunmen crossing the border into Israel and a heavy barrage of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, prompting warning sirens across southern and central Israel, including Jerusalem.
At least 22 Israeli towns and army bases have been infiltrated, the New York Times report.
A senior spokesperson of Hamas told Al Jazeera that his militants are not attacking civilians, however rights groups like Amnesty International have pointed out that Israeli civilians had been killed by Hamas.
“The heart and mind can’t contain the horror,” Israel’s ambassador to Greece, Noam Katz, commented on Twitter.
More than 240 people – including foreign tourists – were killed by Hamas militants at a music festival near Kibbutz Re’em.
Captives have reportedly also been taken from the areas that were attacked.
Media Footage:- During Live transmission of al jazeera, Israeli missile hit a residential building in Gaza and the Palestine tower was bombed and completely destroyed.#israel #hamas #Palestine #اسرائیل #حماس #فلسطين #طوفان_الأقصى pic.twitter.com/olUzkMcWkq
— Haider Saeed (@haidersaeedpti) October 7, 2023
Hezbollah claimed responsibility on Sunday morning for mortar strikes from Lebanon into three Israeli positions in a disputed area along the country’s border with Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The attack was in solidarity with the “Palestinian resistance,” Hezbollah’s announcement added, per the Associated Press.
Israel said it responded with artillery strikes.
‼️🚨🇱🇧🇮🇱 BREAKING: Hezbollah allegedly began launching missiles at Israel from Lebanon. pic.twitter.com/V9Bx1qhW4l
— Lord Bebo (@MyLordBebo) October 8, 2023
On the other side, footage posted on social media networks showed Palestinians in the Middle East and beyond, celebrating the attack on Israel.
Jenin, West Bank: Palestinians celebrate following the invasion of southern Israel by Hamas-led armed groups. pic.twitter.com/ynNajbDpvz
— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) October 7, 2023
People in #Istanbul, #Turkey, mostly supporters of #Erdogan, are celebrating massacre of Israelis by #Hamas terrorists tonight. #Turkiye is one of the key supporters of Hamas #IsraelUnderAttack #Palestine #Gaza #IsraeliOccupation #IsraelUnderFire #Israele #IsraelAttack pic.twitter.com/7ty6VPG7Pe
— Naitik Raaj Tiwari (@imnaitik1001) October 7, 2023
Greeks in Israel affected by the war in Israel
“Greece strongly condemns today’s launch of heavy rocket attacks from Gaza against Israel,” the Greek foreign ministry posted on Twitter, adding that Greece stands with Israel and is deeply concerned by this unacceptable escalation of violence.
The same views were echoed by respective statements by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and main opposition party SYRIZA.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, expressed the solidarity of the European Union to Israel and its people.
The full scale of the brutality of the Hamas terror attack leaves us breathless.
Defenseless people, brutally murdered in cold blood on the streets.
We stand strong with Israel and its people.
Today the EU and Israeli flags fly side by side. pic.twitter.com/fHJYVOM19k
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) October 8, 2023
149 Greek pilgrims were reportedly stranded in their hotel rooms at an area near Jerusalem, unable to travel amidst the conflict but well in their health and in contact with Greek authorities. Almost half of them were scheduled to be taken to safety in Greece on Sunday evening.
Another 200 Greeks, permanent residents of Israel, are affected by the war, according to Greek TV network SKAI.
The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published emergency contact numbers at the Embassy and Consulate in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for Greek citizens.
Τηλέφωνο εκτάκτου ανάγκης Πρεσβείας της Ελλάδας στο Τελ Αβίβ
Τηλέφωνο εκτάκτου ανάγκης του Γενικού Προξενείου της Ελλάδας στα Ιεροσόλυμα
— Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών (@GreeceMFA) October 7, 2023