Jerusalem, Oct 8: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to retaliate firmly against the rocket and infiltrating attack by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which has killed at least 200 Israelis and left over 1,400 wounded.
In a televised address on Saturday evening, the Israeli leader described the day as a grim moment in Israeli history and said his country would "take revenge" and "defeat" the Hamas militants.
"The Israel Defense Forces will immediately use all of its power in order to destroy Hamas' capabilities," he added.
Throughout the day, Netanyahu engaged in extensive consultations as his government weighed the Israeli response, Xinhua news agency reported.
In a surprise attack, almost 3,000 rockets were fired into Israel by Hamas since the early hours of Saturday. Hamas also held some Israeli civilians and soldiers as hostages, as confirmed by Israeli officials.
In response, the Israeli military conducted tens of airstrikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip over the day.
"This war will take time, it will be difficult, and there are challenging days still ahead of us," he warned Israeli citizens.
The ongoing conflict has led to significant casualties on both sides.
Palestinian health authorities in Gaza reported that at least 232 Palestinians were killed and 1,697 injured in the enclave due to Israeli airstrikes. Meanwhile, the death toll among Israelis has crossed 200, marking it as the deadliest attack in Israel in decades.