Reporting from Ashkelon in southern Israel, Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds says the unprecedented attack has left Israelis in “tremendous shock”.
“I spoke by text with an acquaintance in Tel Aviv. She says she was hurrying to get into a bomb shelter. The fact that several villages including some towns were attacked and captured – this is something that has never happened before,” Reynolds said.
“This took a lot of planning, strategising from Hamas,” he noted.
“It is also [near the anniversary] of the October War of 1973, when Israel was taken by surprise by Egypt and Syria. It appears maybe there is some symbolism there,” he added.