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The White House has condemned the the unprovoked attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians’.

The strong statement was issued on Saturday morning following the early-morning attacks on Israel by the militant group Hamas. 

‘The United States unequivocally condemns the unprovoked attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians. There is never any justification for terrorism,’ National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in the statement. 

‘We stand firmly with the Government and people of Israel and extend our condolences for the Israeli lives lost in these attacks.’ 

The Palestinian group fired a devastating fusillade of rockets into the country at daybreak during the festival of Simchat Torah, a day when Jews finish the annual cycle of reading the Torah.

A car burns after a rocket attack in southern Israel on Saturday. Hamas claimed to have fired 5,000 rockets into the country

Smoke billows from a building in Gaza after Israel fired missiles in response to Palestinian air strikes earlier on Saturday 

Hamas then sent troops across the border in paragliders in a surprise attack, setting off gun battles inside communities. 

Israel has vowed to exact revenge on Palestinian militants, warning Hamas that they had made a ‘grave mistake’.

Residents living close to Israel’s border with Gaza have been ordered to stay inside and others have been evacuated after Hamas militants infiltrated the country by land, sea and air and launched a fusillade of missile strikes.

The Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that the militants will pay an ‘unprecedented price’ after their attacks killed at least 40 Israelis.

Palestinian officials have since claimed 161 people have been killed in retaliatory strikes by Israel.

Videos on social media appeared to show armed troops from the Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ militant arm, moving through built-up areas firing weapons as Israeli residents were evacuated from their homes following air strikes.

Hamas claimed to have fired 5,000 rockets into Israel from the occupied Gaza Strip, setting off air raid sirens in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

Men believed to be Palestinian militants are seen riding an Israeli military vehicle after reportedly seizing it close to the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip

A woman stands in a damaged room in Ashkelon, Israel after rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip by Hamas militants

In a statement posted on Telegram, Hamas called on ‘the resistance fighters in the West Bank’ as well as ‘our Arab and Islamic nations’ to join the battle.

In remarks reported by CNN, militant commander Deif said: ‘If you have a gun, get it out. This is the time to use it – get out with trucks, cars, axes. Today the best and most honorable history starts.’

‘Today the people are regaining their revolution,’ he added, in other statements reported by AP, as he called on Palestinians from east Jerusalem to northern Israel to ‘expel the occupiers and demolish the walls.’

In response, Israeli forces have vowed that Hamas will ‘face the consequences and responsibility for these events’.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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