The Israel Defense Forces will likely respond to Hamas’s surprise attack with large-scale ground operations in different areas at the same time.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has approved a widescale call-up of reservists following a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel, his office says.
The number of reservists is not disclosed, but it is noted that to be called up will depend on the military’s needs.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he hopes Israel’s response to the Hamas incursion on Saturday will “exact a huge price” from the militant group.
“Since this morning, the State of Israel has been at war. Our first goal is first of all to cleanse the area of the enemy forces that have infiltrated and restore security and peace to the towns that were attacked,” Netanyahu said. “The second goal, at the same time, is to exact a huge price from the enemy, also in the Gaza Strip. The third goal is to fortify other arenas so that no one makes the mistake of joining this war.
“We are at war, in war you have to keep calm. I call on all citizens of Israel to unite, to achieve our highest goal — victory in the war,’ the prime minister added.
The Haaretz reported that Israel is preparing for the possibility of a ground maneuver and that occupation of the Strip is not excluded.
Some sources reported that Israel deployed troops to the border with Lebanon.
Six hours after clashes between Hamas fighters and Israeli forces along the Gaza-Israel barrier began, the Israeli air force response was marked by an “unprecedented scale and intensity”, according to locals in Gaza.
Central areas within Gaza, including public spaces and residential compounds, have been targets of the air strikes. In some rural neighbourhoods close to the fence, residents have been advised to evacuate because of escalating combat.