Israel: Palestinian forces launch surprise rocket attack from Gaza – BBC News

Video Transcript of Israel: Palestinian forces launch surprise rocket attack from Gaza – BBC News

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We start in the Middle East where security forces in southern Israel have moved to a war footing to combat a surprise attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas the biggest in recent years thousands of rockets have been launched into Israel from Gaza and dozens of militants appear to have

Entered Southern Israel here’s what we know so far the rocket attacks have struck Tel Aviv and areas that surround Gaza air raid siren have also sounded in several other towns at least one person is reported to have been killed so far the town of ashalon has seen major explosions details of

Palestinian incursions are unclear but gunmen have been reported in towns near the Gaza border and Israel have been sorry Israel have Israelis have been warned to stay inside Hammer military commander Muhammad de announced the start of the operation in a broadcast pass on Hamas media calling on Palestinians everywhere to fight

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is holding an emergency meeting and the military says is striking Targets in Gaza in response there are Palestinian reports of Israeli soldiers being captured let me bring you these latest pictures from Gaza they’re showing Hamas militant celebrating and posing for pictures on what is said to

Be an Israeli army tank Palestinian media are reporting that a number of Israelis have been taken captive by Fighters the footage also shows what appears to be an an Israeli military vehicle captured by the militants our Middle East correspondent Jan now is in Jerusalem and told us the size of the attacks is

Unprecedented all my years of covering these rounds of violence we haven’t seen an infiltration um on on this scale um really it does seem from the the videos that are circulating that there are perhaps dozens of militants who have crossed uh from the Gaza Strip into Southern Israel you’ve got unverified TV

Images that show them on motorbikes um in pickup trucks even by H glider um now unconfirmed reports uh from Gaza also saying that Israelis had taken back into the Palestinian Enclave um some Israelis holding them captured perhaps several soldiers we’re not able to to verify

That at the moment but that would be a very worrying development indeed for Israelis that brings back uh memories of what happened to gillad Shalit the soldier who was captured in a crossborder raid by Hamas militants back in 2006 and was held until 2011 um now all of this looks extremely

Well planned um by hamas’s milit military Wing um now you can see in some of the videos that there are um militants now who are um filming themselves close to Israeli homes that they may have taken some of those homes over there are also videos filmed by

Israelis where you can see um people are in the street shooting and and these people say they can hear Arabic outside their windows that was your land now in Jerusalem well for more on this Let’s cross live now to the BBC’s International editor Jeremy Bowen who’s currently live in Kiev in Ukraine Jeremy

You’ve covered this story the conflict between Israel and Gaza for many years just how significant are today’s events this is extremely significant in all the years that Hamas have been in control of Gaza more than 15 they have never done anything like this they have never launched a surprise attack uh on a

Number of different locations Israeli security officials said an hour or so ago that there were 21 separate incidents going on there’s a lot of video circulating not yet verified by the BBC showing uh bodies of Israeli soldiers uh some of whom were clearly surprised uh in their bunks even by the

Attackers uh no one was expecting Hamas to do anything like this tension has been rising very strongly between pal Ians and Israelis there’s been a lot of violence in the West Bank which is the territory that goes from Jerusalem towards the Jordan River uh which been occupied by Israel since

1967 uh that has been the focus now for months and months and there’s been a a lot of killing and violence there but nothing in comparison out of Gaza so I think now the Israelis are using very strong language they say they’re in a state of War they’ve been attacked

They’ve pulled up reservists they’re having this emergency meeting of their security cabinet and I think it is highly likely that once the Israelis um make their plans that they will probably mount an incursion into Gaza uh this thing is likely to escalate and Jeremy the big question for our viewers will be

Why now because this seems to be a coordinate coordinated attack that would have taken a lot of planning as well why do you think Hamas is doing today well uh they’ve called it something like operation Jerusalem flood uh there’s been tension in Jerusalem during the recent Jewish holiday nothing

On the scale that we’ve seen before where there were Palestinians being pushed out by force out of the the mosque there the alaxa mosque which is the third holiest site in the world for Muslims and it’s also uh for for Jews the site of the Jewish the ancient

Jewish temple and therefore venerated by them it’s the most single contested piece of ground really in the entire Middle East and uh there have been some incidents there Jews have been praying on the what they know as the Temple Mount which is something which is it doesn’t sound much but it’s considered

To be highly inflammatory and I think it comes as a culmination of these growing months and tension uh between Palestinians and Israelis in Jerusalem in the West Bank and now Hamas have decided to move there’s also symbolic anniversary and in the Middle East anniversaries are quite

A big deal it’s the 50th Anniversary at the moment of the surprise attack in 1973 by Syria and Egypt which lasted which resulted in a Middle East War lasting uh almost a month uh where Israel was it was a close-run thing um and Israelis I’ve spoken to today are calling this prime minister

Netanyahu’s yum kipor surprise when Israel was taken by surprise 50 years ago and you know it could well be that the Hamas planners thought let’s try and do something like that again thank you very much that’s our International editor Jeremy Bowen and we look forward to speaking to you throughout the day

Here on BBC News

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