Jerusalem- Israel on Saturday morning declared a “state of readiness for war”, amid a massive barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip and infiltration into its southern area, killing at least one person and injuring 16 others.
In a statement, the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) said that Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi is holding an assessment and approving plans of action.
“The IDF declares a state of readiness for war. Hamas which is behind this attack, will bear the results and responsibility for the events,” the statement from the Israeli army said.
Rescue and relief services, Magen David Adom, said that one person has been killed and another 16 are wounded in the rocket attacks on southern and central Israel this morning.
A woman in her 60s was killed in a direct rocket hit in the southern Gderot area.
Another two people are said to be seriously wounded, six moderately and seven with minor injuries, the medics of the rescue services said.
IDF warned that “the Hamas will pay a very heavy price” for its surprise attack this morning.
“Hamas carried out a combined operation that included firing rockets and an infiltration into the territory of the State of Israel,” the Israeli army said.
“The IDF will protect the residents of the State of Israel, the Hamas will pay a very heavy price”, it added.
The Head of Hamas’ military wing, Mohammed Deif, in a statement, said “We warned the enemy not to continue its aggression against the Al-Aqsa Mosque”, Ha’aretz online reported.
“This is only the first stage” of Hamas’ renewed efforts against Israel, he said.
The Israeli military has issued instructions to the residents of towns near the Gaza Strip to remain in their homes, and the rest of the public to remain near bomb shelters.
“Unverified footage from the Gaza Strip purports to show Hamas (militants) with the body of an IDF soldier taken from Israel during the attack this morning,” the Times of Israel newspaper reported.
“The graphic videos show the body being taken out of a truck, as a crowd swarms around it”, it reported.
Minister of Defence, Yoav Gallant, has approved the draft of reserve soldiers in accordance with the IDF’s requirements, a press statement from his office said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on his way to the Defence Ministry Headquarters in order to conduct a security assessment with the participation of all of the heads of the security establishment, a statement from the PMO said.
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