Fire and smoke after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on October 7, 2023. (AP/Kyodo)

More than 970 people have been killed in a large-scale attack originating in the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian militant group Hamas and the retaliatory attacks it provoked from Israel, local authorities and media reported on Sunday.

At least 600 people have been killed in Israel since Hamas launched thousands of surprise rockets early Saturday, local broadcaster Channel 12 reported, while more than 370 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, according to the Health Ministry. Palestinian.

In addition to the rocket fire, Hamas gunmen crossed from Gaza to 22 towns inside Israel, shooting at civilians and security forces and taking Israeli hostages as they passed, according to The Associated Press.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Saturday that his country is “at war” following the Hamas attack, considered the worst in the country’s recent history, as his office approved measures to destroy the group’s military and government capabilities.

“We will take mighty revenge for this black day,” Netanyahu said, vowing to continue “without reservation and without respite.”

Israel launched retaliatory airstrikes against targets in Gaza.

US President Joe Biden said in a speech on Saturday that “America stands with Israel.”

A Palestinian sits among the rubble of a building after being hit by an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, on October 8, 2023. (AP/Kyodo)

In response to the Hamas attack, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated on Sunday: “Japan strongly condemns the attack that has caused serious harm to innocent civilians. “I express my condolences to the bereaved families and my deepest condolences to those injured.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Saturday that his country is “at war”

Kishida also expressed concern about those killed and injured in the retaliatory attacks in Gaza.

The U.N. Security Council is scheduled to hold a closed-door emergency meeting on the Hamas attack on Sunday.

The conflict is likely to become the worst since 2014 – when some 2,250 people died in Gaza and about 70 in Israel in a seven-week war – if Israel moves to a ground invasion.


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