HAMAS terrorists have paraglided into southern Israel after launching a shocking early morning attack, sparking a declaration of war from Israel.

In response, Israeli military forces have launched operation “Iron Swords” after thousands of rockets rained down and killed 40 people early this morning in the cities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Sderot.

Israeli army spokesperson Richard Hecht said of the incursion: “It was a combined ground raid which happened through paragliders, through the sea and through the ground.”

Footage caught the chaotic scenes as Hamas paragliders, small boats and armed men in cars entered Israeli territory.

Militants were also filmed crossing the Israeli border, tearing down barriers with motorcycles and tractors before taking control of military vehicles.

A video taken early this morning appeared to show Hamas militants wandering the streets of southern Israel with machine guns.

The woman filming could be heard speaking fearfully as the soldiers wandered the streets, allegedly shooting any citizens they found.

Another shocking video allegedly taken in Sderot shows militants firing upon a civilian vehicle trying to flee, before appearing to kill the driver, who crashes the vehicle.

Photos have also been shared of an elderly Israeli woman being kidnapped and taken to Gaza.

It’s been confirmed around 50 hostages are being held by Hamas near the Gaza Border, in the Be’eri kibbutz.

In a video address posted on Twitter, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a chilling warning: “We are at war and we will win.

“Our enemy will pay a price, the type of which it has never known.”

UK PM Rishi Sunak wrote on Twitter: “I am shocked by this morning’s attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli citizens. Israel has an absolute right to defend itself.

“We’re in contact with Israeli authorities, and British nationals in Israel should follow travel advice.”

The horrific attacks have been openly praised by some countries, including Iran, who’s Supreme Leader Ali Khameneni congratulated the Palestinian fighters.

Dozens of Israeli Air Force fighters jets are reportedly attacking Hamas locations in the Gaza Strip as Netanyahu’s forces fight back.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad said its fighters have joined Hamas militants in shock attack on Israel. 

A statement read: “Our cadres stand alongside their brothers in Hamas, shoulder to shoulder, until victory.”

Multiple reports have suggested Hamas is actively kidnapping soldiers of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and parading them as captives on military trucks.

Residents were rocked by explosions in the cities of Tel Aviv, Ashkelon, Yavne and Kfar Aviv early on Saturday morning.

In response to the attacks, the IDF has announced a large-scale operation called “Swords of Iron” to defend its citizens.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said the country would also reinforce it’s borders to deter others from “making the mistake of joining the war”.

It comes as…

  • Hamas forces launched more than 5,000 rockets early this morning into Israeli territory
  • 40 are confirmed to be dead, as hospitals report hundreds of victims, with many in critical condition
  • Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video address: “We are at war and we will win. Our enemy will pay a price, the type of which it has never known.”
  • Reports of Israeli soldiers being kidnapped by Hamas fighters and being paraded around on military vehicles have emerged
  • Netanyahu has mobilised the country’s army reserves following his declaration of war
  • Hamas terrorists launched an all out attack this morning from land, air and sea
  • The Palestinian Islamic jihad has joined forces with Hamas fighters in attacking Israel

Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant has authorised mobilisation of military reservists in a bid to fight back against the dawn raid.

At least 40 Israelis have died in the attacks so far and 740 have been wounded, but experts fear the true toll may be much higher.

Several people are also thought to have died in Gaza after Israeli missiles rained down in retaliation.

Hospitals in south Israel say they have treated hundreds of victims, with some in critical condition.

In response, the Israeli Emergency Service has issued an urgent appeal for blood donations in the cities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa.

Israel has ordered locals to stay near bomb shelters within their homes and said: “The military declares a state of war alert.”

Earlier today, Hamas military commander Mohammad Deif said more than 5,000 rockets had been launched.

He said: “This is the day of the greatest battle to end the last occupation on earth.”

The shocking attack from Hamas militants has been condemned by the EU, Ukraine, Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom.