Palestinians reportedly capture Israeli tanks
Hamas militants appeared to capture Israeli tanks during unprecedented attacks on Israel early Saturday, according to social media reports.
The Palestinian militant group launched the largest attack on Israel in decades early Saturday, invading multiple Israeli towns from Gaza and launching masses of missiles into the country.
Video shared on social media appears to show Hamas militants walking around an abandoned Israeli military base and capturing armored vehicles. Other videos, which could not be confirmed, show militants taking photos with captured tanks.
The Hamas attacks appeared to catch the Israeli military off guard, while the massive scale and coordinated effort of the attacks point to a significant Israeli intelligence failure.
The attacks come on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah and is nearly 50 years to the day after the beginning of the 1973 Yom Kippur war.
An Israeli military spokesman confirmed Saturday that militants had captured Israeli soldiers and civilians and taken them hostage in the fighting.
At least 250 Israelis and 232 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, according to Israeli media reports and the Palestinian government.
The Palestinian government said the attacks Saturday are a result of Israel discrimination against Palestinians in the country, including attacks on Muslim minorities and occupation of the West Bank.
“We have repeatedly warned against the consequences of blocking the political horizon and failing to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate right to self-determination and establish long their own state,” a statement reads.
“We have also warned against the consequences of daily provocations and attacks including the continued settlers’ and occupation forces’ terrorism, as well as the raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Christian and Muslim holy sites,” it continues.
Governments in Europe and the U.S. have pledged to support Israel amid rising violence, while nations in the Middle East have mostly condemned Israel for its role in the ongoing conflict with Palestine.
President Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the phone Saturday, where he pledged American support for the country.
“The United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, and I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel,” Biden said in a statement.
Updated 4:05 p.m.