Israel-Palestine at war: live updates as almost 1,000 confirmed dead overall, US says it will send aircraft carrier

Israel and Hamas appear to be headed to war once again after the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise attack from Gaza.
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Israel has declared a ‘state of war’ after Islamist militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack and fired thousands of rockets into the country early on Saturday (7 October).

Gunmen were confirmed to have “infiltrated” the country from several locations on the Gaza Strip - a territory claimed by Palestine located at the southern border of Israel.

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Hamas military commander Mohammad Deif claimed responsibility for the attack - claiming '5,000' rockets had been fired into Israel. In a rare public statement, he declared “enough is enough” and urged Palestinians everywhere to fight.

Meanwhile, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his citizens "we are at war" as he promised "the enemy will pay a price he has never known."

So far the death toll across both sides stands at about 1,100.

Follow below for the latest updates.

Israel latest as Hamas fighters ‘infiltrate’ country from Gaza Strip

In pictures: Israel retaliates and launches air strikes on Gaza

Pictures emerging from Gaza show destruction after Israel responded to Hamas attack with its own air strikes. Warning: graphic content which some readers may find distressing.

Smoke billows from a residential building following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty ImagesSmoke billows from a residential building following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Smoke billows from a residential building following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Palestinians carry the body of a victim that was killed in an Israeli strike, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty ImagesPalestinians carry the body of a victim that was killed in an Israeli strike, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Palestinians carry the body of a victim that was killed in an Israeli strike, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Palestinians move towards the Nahal Oz border crossing with Israel, east of Gaza City, on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty ImagesPalestinians move towards the Nahal Oz border crossing with Israel, east of Gaza City, on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Palestinians move towards the Nahal Oz border crossing with Israel, east of Gaza City, on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Smoke billows from a residential building following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty ImagesSmoke billows from a residential building following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Smoke billows from a residential building following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Palestinian men sit next to the draped body of a militant killed in the latest infiltration operation into Israel, outside the mortuary of a hospital in Gaza City on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty ImagesPalestinian men sit next to the draped body of a militant killed in the latest infiltration operation into Israel, outside the mortuary of a hospital in Gaza City on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Palestinian men sit next to the draped body of a militant killed in the latest infiltration operation into Israel, outside the mortuary of a hospital in Gaza City on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images

First reports of a death toll from Israel

This just in from the Hamas rocket attack on Israel, and only a very early figure. Sadly it will rise, and obviously doesn't take into account those killed by Israeli rockets firing on Gaza.

UK and EU condemn attacks by Hamas

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has condemned the attacks by Hamas and said the UK supports Israel's right to defend itself as forces fight off militants.

"The UK unequivocally condemns the horrific attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians," he said on X (formerly Twitter). 

"The UK will always support Israel's right to defend itself."

Meanwhile, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, also expressed solidarity with Israel, commenting: "We follow with anguish the news coming from #Israel. We unequivocally condemn the attacks by Hamas.

"This horrific violence must stop immediately. Terrorism and violence solve nothing.

"The EU expresses its solidarity with Israel in these difficult moments."

Rishi Sunak releases a statement

The PM has released a statement on X.

'We are at war', says Israel's Prime Minister

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has posted a video statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.

He said: "Citizens of Israel. We are at war, not an operation, not an escalation, a war.

"This morning Hamas launched a murderous surprise attack against the state of Israel and its citizens.

"The enemy will pay a price he has never known.

"In the meantime, I call on all citizens of Israel to strictly obey the instructions of the army and the Home Command.

"We are in a war and we will win it."

Explosions in central Gaza

Explosions are being reported across central Gaza and in Gaza City, witnesses on the ground told Reuters.

It comes after Israel's air force said it was carrying out strikes against Hamas targets, in retaliation to the militant group's "infiltration" of its country.

In pictures: Hamas attacks Israel with '5,000' rockets

Images from Israel show rockets being fired, firefighters tackling blazes, and wounded people being evacuated following the attacks. Warning: graphic content which some readers may find distressing.

A member of Israeli security forces tries to extenguish fire on cars following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, southern Israel, on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty ImagesA member of Israeli security forces tries to extenguish fire on cars following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, southern Israel, on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
A member of Israeli security forces tries to extenguish fire on cars following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, southern Israel, on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Members of Israeli security forces carry an injured person on a stretcher following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, southern Israel, on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty ImagesMembers of Israeli security forces carry an injured person on a stretcher following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, southern Israel, on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Members of Israeli security forces carry an injured person on a stretcher following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, southern Israel, on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
An Israeli youth runs for cover during shelling in Ashkelon as barrages of rockets are fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty ImagesAn Israeli youth runs for cover during shelling in Ashkelon as barrages of rockets are fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
An Israeli youth runs for cover during shelling in Ashkelon as barrages of rockets are fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Palestinians take control of an Israeli tank after crossing the border fence with Israel from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty ImagesPalestinians take control of an Israeli tank after crossing the border fence with Israel from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Palestinians take control of an Israeli tank after crossing the border fence with Israel from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Cars are seen on fire following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, southern Israel, on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty ImagesCars are seen on fire following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, southern Israel, on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images
Cars are seen on fire following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, southern Israel, on October 7, 2023. Credit: AFP via Getty Images

Hamas has 'launched a war' against Israel, defence minister says

The surprise military attack from Islamist group Hamas has "started a war", Israel's defence minister has said.

"Hamas has made a grave mistake this morning and launched a war against the state of Israel. Israel Defense Forces troops are fighting against the enemy at every location," Yoav Gallant said. 

He urged citizens to follow safety and security instructions, as he insisted: "The state of Israel will win this war."

Israel earlier announced a "state of war" after Palestinian gunmen entered the country from the Gaza Strip.

Israel launches air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza

Israel Defence Forces has just announced it is carrying out air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza.

It comes in response to the earlier "barrage of rockets" fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip - a territory claimed by Palestine.

What's happening in Israel?

Early on Saturday (7 October), fighters from Islamic military group Hamas crossed the border into Israel - after a series of massive rocket strikes battered the country overnight. 

In a rare public statement, the head of Hamas, Mohammed Deif, claimed that "5,000" rockets had been fired into Israel - to begin what he termed "Operation Al-Aqsa Storm". 

"We've decided to say enough is enough," he said as he urged all Palestinians to confront Israel.

Meanwhile, Israel's military said "a number of terrorists" had entered its territory.

Residents were ordered to remain indoors as sirens sounded across the country and explosions were reported in Tel Aviv.

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