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The Hamas attack on Israel

Police officers evacuate a woman and a child from a site hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in Ashkelon, southern Israel. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

The militant Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip have carried out an unprecedented, multi-front attack on Israel, firing thousands of rockets as dozens of Hamas fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border in several locations and catching the country off-guard on a major holiday.

Hours into the invasion that began at daybreak Saturday, Hamas militants were still fighting gunbattles inside several Israeli communities.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Israel was “at war” and called for a mass mobilization of army reserves. The invasion revived memories of the 1973 war practically 50 years to the day.

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza says at least 198 people have been killed and at least 1,610 wounded in the territory in Israel’s retaliation after a wide-ranging Hamas assault into Israel.

Israel has carried out a number of airstrikes in Gaza and has clashed with gunmen at the border fence around the coastal territory.

Israel’s national rescue service says at least 40 people have been killed in a wide-ranging Hamas assault into Israel.

The latest toll came from the Magen David Adom rescue service as fighting was still underway on Saturday.

Hospitals in Israel are treating hundreds of wounded people, including dozens in critical condition.

By Associated Press

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