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Hamas attacked Israel and Netanyahu says his country is ‘at war.’ Follow live updates



The militant Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip have carried out an unprecedented, multifront attack on Israel, firing thousands of rockets as dozens of Hamas fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border in several locations and catching the country off-guard on a major holiday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Israel was “at war” and called for a mass mobilization of army reserves. The invasion revived memories of the 1973 war practically 50 years to the day.

Follow our live updates.

MEDIA REPORTS: EGYPTIAN POLICEMAN OPENS FIRE ON ISRAELI TOURISTS

An Egyptian policeman opened fire on Israeli tourists Sunday in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, killing at least two Israelis and one Egyptian, local media reported.

Extra News television channel, which has close ties to Egyptian security agencies, quoted an unidentified security official as saying that another person was injured in the attack which took place in the Pompey’s Pillar tourist site in Alexandria. The suspected assailant was detained, it reported.

Israel’s Zaka rescue service reported two people killed in Alexandria.

CHINA CALLS FOR THE CREATION OF A PALESTINIAN STATE

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the country is “deeply concerned over the current escalation of tensions and violence between Palestine and Israel.”

“The recurrence of the conflict shows once again that the protracted standstill of the peace process cannot go on,” the statement said. “The fundamental way out of the conflict lies in implementing the two-state solution and establishing an independent State of Palestine.”

The Chinese foreign ministry said China would continue to work with the international community to find a way to bring about peace, and urged the community to act with greater urgency and help “facilitate early resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel.”

EGYPT INTERVENES OVER ISRAELI HOSTAGES

An Egyptian official says Israel has sought help from Cairo to ensure the safety of abducted Israelis, and Egypt’s intelligence chief had contacted Hamas and the Islamic Jihad militant group to seek information.

According to the official, Palestinian leaders claimed that they don’t yet have a “full picture” of hostages, but said those who were brought to Gaza were taken to “secure locations” across the territory.

“It’s clear that they have a big number — several dozens,” said the official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to brief media.

Egyptian intelligence also spoke with both sides about a potential cease-fire, he added, but Israel was not open to a truce “at this stage.”

— By Sam Magdy in Cairo.

ISRAELI OFFICIAL SAYS HUNDREDS OF HAMAS MILITANTS HAVE BEEN KILLED

An Israeli military official says “hundreds of terrorists” have been killed and dozens captured in fighting with Hamas militants in Gaza and southern Israel.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari spoke to reporters on Sunday, more than 24 hours after the Palestinian militant group launched an unprecedented assault into Israel, killing hundreds of people, firing thousands of rockets and taking captives back into blockaded Gaza.

Israel is battling militants in the south and launching airstrikes across Gaza that have leveled buildings.

UN PEACEKEEPERS CALL FOR RESTRAINT AFTER ROCKETS FIRED FROM LEBANON

A U.N. peacekeeping force deployed along Lebanon’s southern border called for “everyone to exercise restraint” and make use of the force’s “liaison and coordination mechanisms to de-escalate” and prevent a fast deterioration of the security situation. It said it had detected several rockets fired from southeast Lebanon toward “Israeli-occupied territory,” followed by artillery fire from Israel toward Lebanon.

The statement came shortly after Hezbollah said it fired at Israeli positions in the disputed Chebaa Farms along the border with Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The force known as UNIFIL said it is in contact with authorities on both sides of the border at all levels “to contain the situation and avoid a more serious escalation.”

HEZBOLLAH ATTACKS ISRAELI POSITIONS IN GOLAN HEIGHTS

Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group fired dozens of rockets and shells on Sunday at three Israeli positions in a disputed area along the country’s border with Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Hezbollah said in a statement that the attack using “large numbers of rockets and shells” was in solidarity with the “Palestinian resistance.” It said the Israeli positions were directly hit.

Israel’s military fired back at the Lebanese areas, but there was no immediate word on casualties.

AT LEAST 26 ISRAELI SOLDIERS DIE IN HAMAS ATTACK IN COUNTRY’S SOUTH

At least 26 Israeli soldiers have been killed in an attack by the Hamas militant group on the country’s south, Israel’s military said Sunday.

The figure is part of a death toll of more than 250 people in the deadliest attack against Israelis in decades.

ISRAELI MILITARY SAYS 2 HOSTAGE SITUATIONS ‘RESOLVED’

An Israeli military spokesperson said Sunday morning that two hostage situations had been “resolved,” but did not say whether all the hostages had been rescued alive.

Hamas militants had taken hostages during their surprise attack on Saturday as Israel’s military scrambled to muster a response. Gun battles continued well after nightfall, and militants held hostages in standoffs in two towns. Militants occupied a police station in a third town, where Israeli forces struggled until Sunday morning to finally reclaim the building.

On Sunday, Israel was fighting Hamas incursions in eight places, the Israeli military said.

MILITANTS FIRE MORE ROCKETS FROM GAZA

Before daybreak on Sunday, militants fired more rockets from Gaza, hitting a hospital in the Israeli coastal town of Ashkelon. The hospital sustained damage, said senior hospital official Tal Bergman.

Video provided by Barzilai Medical Center showed a large hole punched into a wall and chunks of debris scattered on the ground of what appeared to be an empty room and a hallway. There was no report of casualties.

Israeli airstrikes in Gaza had intensified after nightfall, flattening residential buildings in giant explosions, including a 14-story tower that held dozens of apartments as well as Hamas offices in central Gaza City. Israeli forces fired a warning just before.

Around 3 a.m., a loudspeaker atop a mosque in Gaza City blared a stark warning to residents of nearby apartment buildings: Evacuate immediately. Just minutes later, an Israeli airstrike reduced one nearby five-story building to ashes.

After one Israeli strike, a Hamas rocket barrage hit four cities, including Tel Aviv and a nearby suburb. Throughout the day, Hamas fired more than 3,500 rockets, the Israeli military said.

1 CAMBODIAN AND 1 THAI KILLED IN FIGHTING IN ISRAEL

A Cambodian student and a Thai national died in the violence in Israel, their governments said on Sunday.

Thailand’s Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara said he also received reports that eight Thais were injured and 11 were kidnapped during the attack by Hamas militants. Thai authorities were working to verify the information with Israeli authorities, he added. Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has put the country’s air force on standby to evacuate its citizens if needed. Thousands of Thai citizens work in Israel, many of them in the agriculture sector.

Cambodia has some 450 students in Israel, a statement from its Foreign Ministry said.

NETANYAHU SAYS ISRAEL WILL CUT OFF SUPPLIES TO GAZA

Israel will stop supplying electricity, fuel and goods to Gaza, according to a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office Saturday night. Much of Gaza was already thrown into darkness by nightfall after electrical supplies from Israel, which supplies almost all of the territories’ power, were cut off earlier in the day.

Netanyahu also said the “first phase” of the counter operation had ended, and that Israel had fought off the majority of Hamas militants.

He vowed to continue the offensive “without reservation and without respite.”

The announcement came after a surprise attack by Hamas militants into Israel on Saturday morning.

AIRLINES SUSPEND FLIGHTS TO ISRAEL

Airlines canceled more than 80 flights to and from Tel Aviv by Saturday evening — roughly 14% of all flights scheduled — because of the unprecedented attack in Israel by the militant group Hamas, according to FlightAware.

Delta Air Lines and American Airlines canceled flights Saturday night and Sunday night from New York’s JFK Airport to Tel Aviv, although a Delta return flight was able to depart Tel Aviv Saturday night. United Airlines also canceled a Saturday flight from San Francisco. An earlier United flight turned around over Greenland and returned to San Francisco.

German carrier Lufthansa canceled several flights between Frankfurt and Tel Aviv.

ISRAELI DEATH TOLL RISES TO AT LEAST 250

Israeli media, citing rescue service officials, said at least 250 people were killed and 1,500 wounded, making Saturday’s surprise early morning attack by Hamas the deadliest attack in Israel in decades. At least 232 people in the Gaza Strip have been killed and at least 1,700 wounded in Israeli strikes, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Hamas fighters took an unknown number of civilians and soldiers captive into Gaza, a deeply sensitive issue for Israel, in harrowing scenes posted on social media videos.

Among those killed in Israel was Lt. Col. Jonathan Steinberg, a senior officer who commanded the military’s Nahal Brigade, a prominent infantry unit.

SAUDI FOREIGN MINISTER TALKS TO BLINKEN, URGES HALT TO VIOLENCE

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan has spoken to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to urge a halt to the violence in and around Gaza. A Saudi Foreign Ministry statement released late Saturday says the two discussed “the necessity of working toward an immediate halt to the escalation.”

Prince Faisal emphasized “the kingdom’s rejection of the targeting of civilians and the need for all sides to respect international humanitarian law.”

The Saudis have been in talks with the White House over potentially forging diplomatic relations with Israel. Those efforts have been thrown into question by the unprecedented incursion into Israel launched by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Saturday.

NETANYAHU VOWS REVENGE AFTER SURPRISE HAMAS ATTACK

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his stunned nation in a televised address that the war against the militant group Hamas, which launched a surprise incursion into Israel on Saturday, will “take time.”

The latest conflagration erupted when dozens of Hamas fighters broke out of Gaza Strip and into nearby Israeli towns, killing dozens and abducting others in an unprecedented surprise early morning attack during a major Jewish holiday.

Netanyahu said the Israeli military will use all of its strength to destroy Hamas’ capabilities. He also vowed to extract a heavy price if “even a single hair” is harmed on the Israeli hostages in Hamas captivity.

Israel has maintained a blockade over Gaza since Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007. The bitter enemies have fought four wars since then.

JORDANIAN KING TALKS TO BIDEN, WARNS AGAINST ESCALATION

King Abdullah II of Jordan has called for intensifying international efforts to stop the escalation of the latest violence between the Palestinians and Israel.

A statement from the Royal Palace says Abdullah spoke to President Joe Biden about ways to stop the conflict from escalating and ways to protect civilians.

Abdullah warned that continued escalation would have negative repercussions on the region and stressed the need for restraint, the protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian law.

Hamas militants fired thousands of rockets and sent dozens of fighters into Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip in an unprecedented surprise early morning attack during a major Jewish holiday on Saturday.

SEAT OF SUNNI LEARNING SUPPORTS PALESTINIANS

A mosque in Cairo that is a seat of Sunni learning has expressed its solidarity with Palestinians in the wake of an attack by the militant group Hamas that took Israel by surprise.

The Al-Azhar al-Sharif mosque houses the Sunni world’s foremost seat of religious learning. A statement by the mosque said it “stands fast with full support to the free people of Palestine, who have come to revive our self-confidence, lifeline, and a long-lost sense of aliveness,” the statement read.

The statement also criticized the global approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying that the international community “adopts nothing but double standards when it comes to the Palestinian cause.”

The statement was issued in the wake of a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel on Saturday.

JEWISH FEDERATION ANNOUNCES FUND TO HELP ISRAEL

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington announced the opening of an Israel Crisis Fund, saying it was ready to help meet the urgent needs of Israelis after “the largest terrorist attack on Israel since the Yom Kippur War.”

Gil Preuss, the federation’s chief executive officer, said in a statement that it had a responsibility to mobilize the Jewish community across the political spectrum to stand against the ongoing “deluge of terror” in Israel.

“At the holy time of Shabbat, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah, while Jews were immersed in celebration and spiritual contemplation, dozens of terrorist gunmen infiltrated communities near the Gaza border and Hamas launched a deluge of thousands of rockets at Israel cities,” he said.

“This is a terrifying moment for our family in Israel,” Preuss added, “and we fear the horror will be quite prolonged.”

Israeli rescue service Zaka said at least 200 Israelis were killed, making it the deadliest attack against Israel in decades. An equal number of Palestinians were also killed, officials in Gaza said, amid Israel’s response.

NYC, LOS ANGELES MAYORS, RABBIS CONDEMN HAMAS ATTACK

In New York City, a small squad of city police officers gathered outside Temple Emanu-El on Fifth Avenue during Saturday worship services.

Inside the synagogue, which has one of the city’s largest Jewish congregations, Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson began services by acknowledging, but not specifically mentioning, the attacks.

“In moments of fear, in moments of concern,” he said, “we know we draw strength from our being together.”

Later, he would put out a statement condemning the violence, noting how the surprise attack on Saturday by Hamas from Gaza into southern Israel was executed “in a fashion eerily reminiscent of the Yom Kippur War 50 years and one day ago.”

In Los Angeles, Rabbi Nolan Lebovitz urged congregants at Valley Beth Shalom during Saturday services to call their elected representatives to urge support for Israel, especially in the coming days as the country responds to the attack.

The mayors of their respective cities, New York Mayor Eric Adams and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, also condemned Saturday’s attack by Hamas. Those cities have the largest Jewish populations outside of Israel.

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