Updated: 232 Palestinians, 200 Israelis dead as war breaks out in Gaza

Israeli forces in air raid attack Gaza

Israeli forces in air raid attack Gaza

Israeli forces have launched massive air strikes in Gaza, with about 232 Palestinians killed, according to Palestinian officials.

A Palestinian health ministry official told the BBC that at least 232 people have been killed in Gaza since Israeli strikes started this morning.

At least 1,790 people were injured, according to the ministry.

According to CNN, the ministry did not provide a breakdown of where the deaths occurred and if the deaths included Hamas militants or civilians in Gaza.

Hamas fighters capture an Israeli tank
Hamas fighters capture an Israeli tank

“Medical teams are still working with all their capacity to save dozens of serious and critical cases in operating rooms and intensive care units,” the ministry said.

The ministry called “on humanitarian and relief institutions to work immediately to support the emergency needs of Gaza Strip hospitals.”

Palestinian militants had launched an unprecedented assault into Israeli territory on Saturday, killing more than 200 Israelis.

In an assault of startling breadth, Hamas gunmen rolled into as many as 22 locations outside the Gaza Strip, including towns and other communities as far as 24 kilometers from the Gaza border.

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In some places, they roamed for hours, gunning down civilians and soldiers as Israel’s military scrambled to muster a response.

Gunbattles continued well after nightfall, and militants held hostages in standoffs in two towns.

Israel’s national rescue service said at least 200 people were killed and 1,100 wounded, making it the deadliest attack in Israel in decades.

As part of Israel’s retaliatory strikes, its warplanes hit several buildings in the centre of Gaza City, including an 11-storey building called Palestine Tower.

It houses Hamas radio stations on the rooftop and also boasts a cinema.

The Israel Defense Forces had said its troops are fighting in at least a half-dozen locations.

Some residents in Israel said militants were trying to break into their homes. Hamas claimed to have captured several Israeli soldiers near the border.

CNN reports that Saturday’s assault comes on the 50th anniversary of the 1973 War in which Arab states blitzed Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.

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