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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.

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.

It was the deadliest attack against Israel in decades.

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. At least 200 Israelis were killed and a number were also taken hostage. An equal number of Palestinians died amid Israel’s military response to the attack.

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.

RESCUE SERVICE SAYS MORE THAN 200 ISRAELIS KILLED

An Israeli rescue service says the attack by Hamas in southern Israel has left at least 200 people dead.

Rescue Service Zaka says an additional 1,100 people were wounded in the attack Saturday that took Israel by surprise.

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.

It was the deadliest attack against Israel in decades.

At least 198 people in the Gaza Strip were killed and at least 1,610 wounded amid Israel’s retaliation.

UN CHIEF CONDEMNS HAMAS ATTACKS AGAINST ISRAEL

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the Hamas attacks “in the strongest terms,” urged maximum restraint and stressed that violence can’t solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Through his spokesman Stephane Dujarric, Guterres reiterated that “only through negotiation leading to a two-state solution can peace be achieved.”

The secretary-general said that “civilians must be respected and protected” at all times as required under international law, according to Dujarric.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed emergency meeting on the Hamas attacks at 3 p.m. EDT on Sunday at the request of Malta and the United Arab Emirates, the Arab representative on the council.

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.

Israel said it is now at war with Hamas and launched airstrikes in Gaza.

ISRAELI OPPOSITION LEADER PROPOSES UNITY GOVERNMENT

Israel’s opposition leader says he has proposed forming an emergency government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a statement, Yair Lapid said he had met Saturday with Netanyahu and suggested the prime minister replace his far-right coalition with a broad unity government of centrist parties.

He said Netanyahu knows he “can’t manage a war” with his current partners. “Israel needs to bed led by a professional, experienced and responsible government,” he said.

He said such a coalition would send a message to Israel’s enemies that the country is united against its enemies.

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 Saturday.

Israel said it is now at war with Hamas and launched airstrikes in Gaza.

HAMAS SAYS IT CAPTURED DOZENS OF ISRAELI SOLDIERS

The Hamas militant group says it is holding “dozens” of Israeli soldiers captive in the Gaza Strip.

A spokesman for the group’s military wing said the soldiers — including some officers — were captured during a surprise infiltration into southern Israel on Saturday.

Abu Obedia says the captives were being held in “safe places” and militant tunnels.

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 Saturday.

Israel said it is now at war with Hamas and launched airstrikes in Gaza.

Separately, the U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed emergency meeting on the Hamas attacks at 3 pm EDT on Sunday at the request of Malta and the United Arab Emirates, the Arab representative on the council.

FIGHTING IN 22 LOCATIONS IN SOUTHERN ISRAEL

An Israeli army spokesman says fighting is continuing in 22 locations in southern Israel some 12 hours after Hamas militants launched a surprise attack from the Gaza Strip.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari also said that Israel was striking targets in Gaza from the air and that ground operations were imminent.

Hagari confirmed ongoing hostage situations in the towns of Ofakim and Beeri. Earlier, both the Israeli military and Hamas confirmed that some Israelis had been captured and taken hostage.

Hamas militants fired thousands of rockets and sent dozens of fighters into Israeli towns near the Gaza on Saturday, the day of a major Jewish holiday.

BIDEN CONDEMNS ATTACK BY HAMAS AGAINST ISRAEL

President Joe Biden has condemned the “appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza” and says he’s spoken with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Biden says in a statement released by the White House that he told the Israeli leader that “we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support” to the Israeli government and the Israeli people.

Biden says that the Jewish state “has a right to defend itself and its people. The United States warns against any other party hostile to Israel seeking advantage in this situation.”

The president also says his administration’s support for Israel’s security is “rock solid and unwavering.”

Other Western leaders condemned the Hamas attack and expressed support for Israel.

The head of the European Union’s executive commission, Ursula von der Leyen, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Saturday that the attack “is terrorism in its most despicable form.” She said that “Israel has the right to defend itself against such heinous attacks.”

The Israeli flag was raised at the Austrian chancellor’s office and Foreign Ministry in a gesture of solidarity, and Chancellor Karl Nehammer said in a post on X on Saturday: “We stand with Israel in the fight against terrorism. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families.”

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