Israel's Netanyahu vows to make 'rubble' of Hamas hiding places after attack
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to turn Hamas's hiding places into "rubble" after the Palestinian armed group shocked the world with a deadly military attack on Israeli territory.
Hamas fired thousands of rockets while its forces mounted a surprise assault into Israel. Some used boats to leave Gaza as others smashed through and paraglided over the fence that keeps the coastal enclave under siege.
Hundreds are dead in both the strip and Israel as the two sides continue to fight, but the coming days could see the casualty toll in Gaza rise significantly as the Israelis ramp up their response.
Netanyahu said the Israeli army will "immediately use immediately use all its strength to destroy Hamas's capabilities" in a post on social media platform X, formerly called Twitter.
This morning, on Shabbat and a holiday, Hamas invaded Israeli territory and murdered innocent citizens including children and the elderly. Hamas has started a brutal and evil war.— Benjamin Netanyahu - בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) October 8, 2023
We will be victorious in this war despite an unbearable price. This is a very difficult day for all…
"We will destroy them and we will forcefully avenge this dark day that they have forced on the State of Israel and its citizens," he added.
"All of the places which Hamas is deployed, hiding and operating in, that wicked city, we will turn them into rubble. I say to the residents of Gaza: Leave now because we will operate forcefully everywhere."
Gaza is one of the world's most densely populated areas, with few places for civilians to flee to.
Palestinians in Gaza have been under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade for 16 years and cannot leave the territory.
More than 20,000 had taken refuge in United Nations schools in Gaza by Saturday evening, but these buildings cannot offer guaranteed protection.
The agency that runs the sites, the UN's Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, on Saturday said two schools had been "affected by collateral damage due to Israeli Air Forces airstrikes".
Shrapnel was found in another.