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Netanyahu: Brace for a ‘long and difficult war’ against Hamas

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu braced the Jewish State for a “long and difficult war” Sunday as his administration retaliated against the surprise attack from the Hamas terrorists that has killed 600 Israeli citizens.

“We are embarking on a long and difficult war. The war was forced upon us by a murderous attack by Hamas. The first phase ends in these hours by destroying most of the enemy forces that have penetrated our territory,” Netanyahu declared, per a translation.

“We will restore security to the citizens of Israel and we will win.”

Israel’s cabinet invoked Article 40 Aleph, marking the nation’s first formally declared war since 1973.

From early Saturday into Sunday Hamas unleashed a barrage of thousands of rockets from Gaza Strip into Israel and launched a ground assault, marking what has been dubbed the largest escalation in the region in over five decades.

The attack, which caught Israeli intelligence and defense forces off guard, came roughly a day after the 50-year anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, in which Israel battled Egypt, Syria, and a few other Arab nations.

So far, the death toll in Israel has climbed to roughly 600 killed and 2,000 wounded, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Meanwhile, over 313 Palestinians are reported dead and 1,990 reported missing, including 20 killed and 121 injured children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

There have also been reports of numerous Israelis abducted by the terrorists.

“Israel is waking up this morning to a terrible morning. There are a lot of people killed. People have been kidnapped into Gaza, not only soldiers but civilians, children, grandmothers,” Israeli Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said in a statement, CNN reported.

“We have lost soldiers, we have lost commanders, we have lost a lot of civilians.”

Hecht did not disclose an exact number of hostages.

Hamas has used the hostages to warn Israel against taking retaliatory actions near the Gaza Strip.

Hecht did not disclose an exact number of hostages.

War has seemingly escalated over recent hours with attacks from the north, believed to come from the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah near the Israeli-Lebanon border.

Wow. Hezbollah claims responsibility for rocket and mortar fire that targeted multiple Israeli positions in the north. Israel has already responded by striking Hezbollah locations.

Hezbollah, which has aligned itself with Hamas, is effectively threatening to add a second front to the bloody war against Israel.

Netanyahu has promised “mighty vengeance” and to be “victorious” in the exploding conflict.

Israeli warplanes have pummeled Gaza, hitting over 426 targets, per the Israel Defense Forces.

Late Saturday, Israeli’s cabinet convened to make “decisions aimed at bringing about the destruction of the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, in a way that would negate their ability and desire to threaten and harm the citizens of Israel for many years to come,” the Office of Israel’s Prime Minister said.

Hamas’ shock attack has drawn widespread international condemnation and threatens to heighten tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

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