Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid on Saturday gave full backing to the government to strike hard at Hamas during a devastating multi-pronged attack that killed more than 100 people.
“At times like these, there is no opposition or coalition in Israel. We will give full backing to the security forces for a harsh response against terrorism and its proxies,” said Lapid.
“This morning terrorists launched an unprovoked attack against Israel. Our people were awoken by the sounds of sirens, shooting and explosions. The rocket attacks against innocent civilians are relentless.
“The whole world must stand with Israel as we defend ourselves from terror,” said Lapid. “We must mobilize the international community against [Palestinian] terror.”
Lapid was set to receive a security briefing from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at military headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Hamas killed at least 100 Israelis on Saturday as the terrorist organization fired more than 3,000 rockets at the country’s South and Center and dispatched dozens of terrorists into communities located along the Gaza border.
More than a thousand Israelis were evacuated to hospitals across the country, almost half of them to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva and many to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.
As of 11:30 a.m., Hamas terrorists were in full control of at least three Israeli communities.
Benny Gantz, head of the opposition National Unity Party, also extended his support for a forceful military response.
“Hamas made a serious mistake and will bear the consequences.
All citizens of Israel stand behind the IDF and the security forces, and the government has full backing to exact a heavy price in any determined and responsible action,” said Gantz.
Netanyahu convened a security meeting at the Kirya military headquarters attended by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and other senior officials.
The Israel Defense Forces was ordered to a “state of war readiness” and Gallant authorized the call-up of reserve troops.
He also announced a “special security situation” within 80 kilometers of the Gaza Strip, enabling the IDF to close relevant sites and impose safety restrictions on the population.
The IDF later announced the launch of an operation named “Iron Swords.”