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We are at war, says Israel’s PM, after surprise Hamas offensive; 22 killed

Israel-Palestine Latest: Israel declared a ‘state of war’ and launched air strikes on Gaza strip following a surprise rocket attack.

Israel declared a ‘state of war’ and launched air strikes on Gaza strip following a surprise rocket attack by Palestine’s Hamas militants which claimed that it was only their “first strike”. Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video statement following the attacks that the country is at war.

“We are at war and we will win,” he asserted, adding, “Not an ‘operation,’ not a ‘round,’ but at war.”

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The comments in a televised address mark Benjamin Netanyahu’s first remarks since Hamas launched the multi-front attack on Israel. Ordering a call-up of reservists, the Israel PM promised that Hamas would “pay a price that it hasn’t known until now.”

The prime minister also ordered the country’s military to clear the infiltrated towns of Hamas militants that remained locked in gunfights with Israeli soldiers.

Twenty-two people have been shot dead in Israel so far in fighting with Palestinian militants , the Magen David Adom emergency medical services said in a statement.

“As of 13:00 (1000 GMT), Magen David Adom teams have pronounced 22 victims deceased. They have also treaded hundreds of further victims,” the statement said.

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This came after Palestinian militants begun a “war” against Israel, the country’s defence minister said after a barrage of rockets were fired and fighters from the Palestinian enclave infiltrated Israel. At least two people were killed in Israel, officials said while Israel’s defence minister Yoav Gallant said Palestinian militant group Hamas has “launched a war against the State of Israel.”

“Troops are fighting against the enemy at every location,” he said. Israel’s military began air strikes on Gaza, following the rocket barrage from inside the territory.

“Dozens of IDF fighter jets are currently striking a number of targets belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation in the Gaza Strip,” the military said.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military struck targets in Gaza that sent air raid sirens wailing constantly as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Forces were engaged in gunfights with Hamas militants who had infiltrated Israel in at least seven locations, it said. The fighters had sneaked across the separation fence and even invaded Israel through the air, the army informed.

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