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Deadliest terror attack in Israel’s history: A timeline of devastation

An estimated 1,000 terrorists infiltrated Israel by air, land and sea, killing at least 250 Israelis and wounding more than 1,000.

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit and damaged the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon as part of a multi-pronged attack on Oct. 7, 2023. Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash90.
A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit and damaged the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon as part of a multi-pronged attack on Oct. 7, 2023. Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash90.

On Saturday morning, Oct. 7, 2023, the Hamas terrorist organization launched a massive assault on Israel from the Gaza Strip, infiltrating several Israeli communities, killing at least 600 people, wounding over 2,000 and taking hostages back into Gaza.

An estimated 1,000 terrorists infiltrated Israel by air, land and sea. Israeli forces, caught off-guard, continued battling terrorists into the night in Sderot and Be’eri, near Gaza, and even in Ofakim, a distance of some 15 miles from the Strip. The Israel Defense Forces retaliated with airstrikes on Hamas positions in the Strip and called up reservists.

An estimated 3,000 rockets were also fired, triggering alarms in hundreds of Israeli communities, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and central Israel.

Here is a timeline of the day’s events.

6:30 a.m. – First reports of rocket attacks on Israel. The IDF estimates that 2,500 rockets were launched during the first few hours of the morning.

7:30 a.m. – First reports of infiltrations into Israel. IDF orders area residents to stay near their homes.

8:00 a.m. – First reports of casualties from rocket attacks and attacks inside Israeli towns along the Gaza border.

8:15 a.m. – First sirens warning of rockets in Jerusalem.

8:20 a.m. – Reports of Israeli retaliatory strikes in Gaza. Intensive rocket barrages continue.

10:20 a.m. – IDF Launches “Operation Iron Swords” and initiates reserve call-ups.

12:00 p.m. – IDF Home Front Command places restrictions on gatherings and cancels public activities.

12:20 p.m. – Israel deploys several battalions to the Gaza border, focused on retaking Israeli towns and eliminating terrorists. Rocket fire subsides significantly.

5:00 p.m. – Israel reports 100 killed and 900 injured.

5:30 p.m. – IDF Spokesman confirms that Hamas has taken civilian and military hostages into Gaza. Israel is fighting terrorists at 22 locations. Four army divisions are deployed to the Gaza border.

6:30 p.m. – Israel strikes two high-rise towers in Gaza housing Hamas assets.

7:15 p.m. – Israel announces it has killed hundreds of terrorists in southern Israel and Gaza.

7:30 p.m. – Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz announces he has ordered the Israel Electric Company to halt the supply of electricity to Gaza.

8:00 p.m. – Rocket barrages strike central Israel. The casualty count rises to 150 killed and 1,100 wounded.

8:45 p.m. – Israel raises the official death toll to 200.

9:20 p.m. – IDF announces a new wave of airstrikes on Gaza.

10:00 p.m. – Israeli Defense Minister extends the emergency situation to the entire state of Israel. Previously, it was only in effect within 50 miles of Gaza.

10:15 p.m. – Israel raises the official death toll to 250.

11:45 p.m. – The municipality of Netiv HaAsara releases the names of 15 of its residents killed in the attack.

On Sunday morning, the official death toll from the Hamas terror attacks stood at 350.

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