New warning sirens in Tel Aviv and in central Israel due to rockets fired from Gaza. ANSA found this on the spot where numerous explosions were heard in the sky due to rockets intercepted by the Iron Dome. The number of Israeli deaths after the attack on Gaza has risen to over 150, while the injured are 1,100. Israeli TV reported it. The latest toll reported over 100 dead and 900 injured. Instead, 50 Israelis were held hostage by Hamas militiamen. Fighting between armed Hamas militiamen and the Israeli army is underway in the kibbutzim of Beeri and Reim, close to the Strip. In Reim a police vehicle was hit by an anti-tank and there are reported victims.
Israel’s response took the form of attacks launched with dozens of aircraft on Gaza which “hit 17 military compounds and 4 operational command centers belonging to the terrorist organization Hamas” in the Strip. At least 198 people have been killed in Gaza: this was declared by the Ministry of Health of the Palestinian enclave, after Hamas militants launched a barrage of rockets against Israel, which responded with air strikes.
The Italian government said it was closely following the attack in Israel, condemning “in the strongest terms the ongoing terror and violence against innocent civilians” and giving “support to Israel’s right to defend itself.” Meanwhile, Prime Minister Meloni has called a summit with ministers and services to take stock of what has happened in the last few hours. Surveillance over sensitive Israeli targets has also been increased in Italy. In Rome, in particular, security has been strengthened in the Jewish Ghetto area, with the Synagogue in the foreground and then the embassy and other diplomatic residences.
Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid offered to form an emergency joint government. This was reported by Sky News, according to which the offer was presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Our people were awakened by the sound of sirens, gunshots and explosions. The rocket attacks on innocent civilians are relentless. The entire world must stand with Israel as we defend ourselves from terrorism,” Lapid said. Netanyahu and senior security officials gathered today for an emergency meeting.
The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting behind closed doors tomorrow afternoon at 3pm, 9pm Italian time, on the situation in the Middle East after the dramatic attacks on Israel. The Glass Palace communicates this.
President Joe Biden called Benjamin Netanyahu to ensure that the United States stands with Israel and supports its right to defend itself. This is stated in a note from the Israeli prime minister’s office. Netanyahu, the note, thanked Biden and predicted that, after a powerful and prolonged military campaign, Israel will have the upper hand. Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri told Al Jazeera that the group is ready for “the worst case scenario”: “All scenarios are now possible and we are ready for an Israeli ground invasion,” he said, claiming that in his opinion, Israel had planned to launch an attack on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Since this morning the Israeli army has called tens of thousands of reservists back into service, starting the ‘Operation Iron Swords’ to respond to the unprecedented attack launched by Hamas: the Israeli army confirmed the launch of at least 2200 rockets from Gaza, speaking of fighting in seven locations. “Citizens of Israel, we are at war”, announced Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, referring to the order given to the army to recall reservists and to “respond to the war with vehemence and a scale that the enemy has not known so far” . “The enemy will pay a price that he has never had to pay. We will win”, he underlined.
The president of the Republic Sergio Mattarella reiterates in a message to the President of the State of Israel, Isaac Herzog “the firmest and most convinced condemnation” of the “treacherous attack, which attacks the security of Israel and distances the prospect of a lasting peace – hoped for by all and perceived as necessary – between Israelis and Palestinians”. “Hamas must stop this barbaric violence immediately”, asked Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani before reporting that “all Italians in Israel have been contacted. There are around 18 thousand – he added – who live in Israel, some even double passport. And there are 250 who are temporarily in Israel and there are about twenty Italians in the Gaza strip.” The Italian ambassador to Israel Sergio Barbanti underlined from Cernobbio that all Italians in Israel are well, while the Farnesina, with the Consulate General and the Crisis Unit, is in contact with all the Italians present in Gaza and the various reference organizations.