(CNN, KYMA/KECY) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is "at war" after Gaza militants launched a surprise attack Saturday, firing thousands of rockets and entering Israel by land, sea and air. Dozens of people have died and hundreds more are wounded in Israel, officials said.
A surprise attack Saturday by Hamas left dozens dead in Israel. Gaza militants launched thousands of rockets, and shortly after daybreak, Israel responded.
"Citizens of Israel, we are at war," Netanyahu spoke.
The Israel Defense Forces said its troops are fighting in at least a half-dozen locations.
President Biden responds
"A very severe morning, we are very much now focused now on sending forces to these areas where there is fighting ongoing," said Richard Hecht, spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces International.
Israeli rescue services estimate at least 200 Israelis have been killed in the violence and hundreds more injured in Gaza, and more than 200 Palestinians have been killed Saturday, with more than 1,600 injured, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Some residents of two different villages in southern Israel near the Gaza Border said militants were trying to break into their homes. Hamas also claimed to have captured several Israeli soldiers near the border, and video captured shows Gaza militants taking Israelis captive.
President Joe Biden says he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and offered his full support and condolences to Israel.
"The United States stands with the people of Israel in the face of these terrorist assaults. Israel has the right to defend itself," Biden shared.
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.