Fighting in Israel and Gaza, in Photos

Israel and Gaza were on a war footing on Saturday after Palestinian militants launched one of the biggest attacks in years from the Gaza Strip, sending thousands of rockets into central and southern parts of the country as heavily armed gunmen crossed border fences into Israeli communities.

Within hours, Israeli fighter jets began airstrikes on targets inside Gaza, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said on television: “We are at war.” Muhammad Deif, the head of the military wing of Hamas, the Islamic militant organization that controls Gaza, said earlier that the group had decided to launch an “operation” so that “the enemy will understand that the time of their rampaging without accountability has ended.”

Here are images from the confrontation.

Rockets being fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip. The assault began without warning about 6:30 a.m. on the Jewish Sabbath, and almost 50 years to the day since a surprise attack by Egyptian and Syrian forces on Israel that set off the 1973 war.

Credit…Samar Abu Elouf for The New York Times

Members of Israeli security forces carrying an injured person in Ashkelon, about 10 miles north of the Gaza Strip. A hospital there reported receiving dozens of people in the first hours of the assault, some in grave condition.

Credit…Ahmad Gharabli/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Palestinian militants riding a seized Israeli military vehicle. Militants infiltrated at least seven Israeli communities and army bases on Saturday morning, according to an Israeli military spokesman, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht.

Credit…Ahmed Zakot/Reuters

An Israeli soldier in the southern city of Sderot, standing by the bodies of Israelis killed by Palestinian militants who entered from the Gaza Strip.

Credit…Tsafrir Abayov/Associated Press

Smoke rising after Israeli strikes in Gaza. Dozens of Israeli fighter jets hit targets in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said.

Credit…Mohammed Salem/Reuters

Residents in the Gaza Strip fleeing from near the border with Israel.

Credit…Mahmud Hams/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Relatives mourning over the bodies of Palestinian militants at the mortuary of a hospital in Gaza City.

Credit…Eyad Baba/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A building ablaze in Tel Aviv after rocket attacks.

Credit…Itai Ron/Reuters

Israeli rescue teams tending to a man in a building that received a direct hit in Ashkelon.

Credit…Ahmad Gharabli/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A damaged apartment in Ashkelon.

Credit…Amir Cohen/Reuters

An Israeli military vehicle burning after it was hit by Palestinian gunmen.

Credit…Mohammed Fayq Abu Mostafa/Reuters

Members of Israeli forces taking cover in Ashkelon.

Credit…Ahmad Gharabli/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

People gathering at an area hit by rockets in Ashkelon.

Credit…Amir Cohen/Reuters

Smoke rising in the Rehovot area, south of Tel Aviv, as rockets were launched from Gaza.

Credit…Ilan Rosenberg/Reuters

Palestinians breaking into the Israeli side of Israel-Gaza border fence.


Palestinians riding an Israeli military jeep in the streets of Gaza.

Credit…Haitham Imad/EPA, via Shutterstock

Looking out of a damaged building in Ashkelon.

Credit…Ammar Awad/Reuters

Text by Victoria Kim

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