By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has told Palestinians to leave Gaza and warned the army will turn Hamas sites “into rubble”.
“We will turn all the places in which Hamas is based … all the places Hamas is hiding in, acting from, into rubble,” Mr Netanyahu said in a televised address, warning that Palestinians trapped in the besieged area should “leave now” – despite them being unable to do so.
Israel has declared itself to be at war and launched hundreds of relentless retaliatory strikes on Gaza overnight, after Hamas militants fired thousands of rockets and sent dozens of fighters into Israeli towns across the Gaza Strip border in an unprecedented surprise attack on Saturday morning.
Local media report that over 300 Israelis have been killed and 1,100 have been injured – making it the deadliest Israel has ever suffered, while an unknown number of Israeli soldiers and civilians were also taken captive and brought into Gaza.
Israel said on Sunday it had repelled Hamas militants from 22 areas after they breached the border by land, sea and air, but that fighting was ongoing in eight places.