As the gun battle between the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and Hamas intensified on Sunday, The Times of Israel reported that at least 313 Palestinians have been killed so far.
The Hamas-run health ministry in the Gaza Strip has confirmed the death toll and said that 313 Palestinians have been killed and another 1,990 have sustained wounds in the Gaza Strip.
Most of the deaths were as a result of Israel's retaliatory strikes in the Gaza Strip. The IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari had earlier said that the searches for Hamas terrorists was underway at several besieged towns and that over 400 terrorists have been killed inside Gaza, while dozens more are being held captive, reported The Times of Israel.
Hagari was quoted as saying, "As of this hour, there are forces fighting in [Kibbutz] Kfar Aza, there are searches in a large number of towns. There are IDF forces in all towns, there is no town that does not have an IDF force in it."
The IDF's mission objectives are to evacuate all civilians from the border communities in Gaza, end all fighting there, manage security barrier breaches and keep the offence against terrorist targets in the Strip, Hagari was quoted as saying.
Gun battle between Israeli forces and terrorists was ongoing in Kfar Aza, close to the Gaza border more than 24 hours after Hamas launched rocket attacks coupled with ground assault.
The "surprise attack" from Hamas on Israel is being seen as a major escalation during which a barrage of rockets were fired into the southern and central parts of the country.
The death toll from the attacks by Hamas went above 300 on Sunday with another 1,864 reportedly injured. Several Israel;s were taken as hostages in Gaza, reported The Times of Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stern warning to Hamas and claimed that it had begun a terrible war and that Israel's defensive forces would use all of its strength to undermine their capacity.
Taking to X, the Israel PM wrote, "Hamas forces invaded Israeli territory this morning, on the morning of a holiday and Shabbat, and murdered innocent civilians, children and the elderly. Hamas started a cruel and evil war. We will win this war, but the price is too heavy to bear. This is a very difficult day for all of us."
"Hamas wants to murder us all. It is an enemy who murders children and mothers in their homes, in their beds. An enemy who kidnaps the elderly, children, and girls. Murderers who slap and slaughter our citizens, our children, who all in all went out to spend the holiday," added Netanyahu.
Netanyahu said that after Saturday's events in Israel, he will make sure that it does not happen again. Earlier, the IDF said that Israeli fighter jets hit a military facility at the residence of the terrorist group Hamas' intelligence chief in Gaza on Sunday.
The IDF posted a video on X writing, "Fighter jets recently attacked a military infrastructure at the home of the head of the intelligence department of the terrorist organization Hamas."
"At this time, the IDF continues its attacks throughout the Gaza Strip," added the post.
The attack, which began at 6.30 am local time (03:30 GMT) on Saturday involved Hamas fighters, who infiltrated Israel by land, sea, and air. Israel's military launched a series of air raids on Gaza in response to the attacks.