Israel has sustained heavy human and material losses on the first day of the unprecedented large-scale Palestinian attack.
Palestinian armed factions in the Gaza Strip led by the Hamas Movement launched the surprise attack on the morning of October 7.
The attack, codenamed “Al-Qasa Flood,” began with a barrage of hundreds of rockets that targeted southern and central Israel. Several groups of Palestinian fighters later infiltrate nearby settlements and military positions from land, sea and air.
At least 350 people were killed on the first day of the attack. The Israeli Ministry of Health said that 1,864 others were wounded. Among them are currently 19 in critical condition, 326 seriously wounded and 359 in moderate condition. There are also 821 people lightly wounded and 20 being treated for traumatic stress. An additional 223 people are under medical supervision.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) published on October 8 the names of 26 service members who were killed during clashes with Palestinian fighters at settlement and military positions near Gaza Strip during the past day.
Among those killed there were the following offices:
- Colonel Jonathan Steinberg, 42, the commander of the Nahal Brigade;
- Lieutenant Colonel Sahar Machluf, 36, the commander of the 481st Signal Battalion;
- Major Chen Buchris, 26, the deputy commander of the elite special reconnaissance Maglan unit;
- Captain Adir Ovadi, 23, a commander in the Home Front Command;
- Captain Yotam Ben Bassat, 24, a commander in the Multidimensional Unit;
- Lieutenant Or Moses, 22, a commander in the Home Front Command;
- Lieutenant Yiftah Yaabetz, 23, a commander in Maglan;
- Lieutenant Menashe Yoav Maliev, 19, an officer in the 7th Armored Brigade;
- Lieutenant Or Yosef Ran, 29, a commander in Duvdevan;
- Lieutenant Ido Edri, 24, an infantry officer;
- 2nd Lieutenant Adar Ben Simon, 20, a commander in the Home Front Command;
- 2nd Lieutenant Yanai Kaminka, 20, a commander in the Home Front Command.
At least 30 other of those killed in the attack were police officers. The remaining fatalities were mostly civilians, some of whom are foreign nationals.
The IDF also sustained heavy losses in equipment. The Russian Rybar news channel on Telegram listed the following documented equipment losses:
- Seven Merkava Mark III and IV were lost: two were destroyed, three were damaged and captured and two others were captured in a working condition;
- Two Namer heavy armored personnel carriers were captured in working condition;
- 12 Achzarit and M113 armored personnel carriers were captured in working condition;
- Two mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles were captured in working condition;
- More than ten Humvee and other high mobility vehicles were captured in working condition;
- Three D9R armored bulldozers were captured in working condition;
- Three HEMTT 8×8 heavy tactical trucks were captured in working condition;
- Three FMTV 6×6 medium tactical trucks were captured in working conditions;
While some of the lighter captured vehicles were taken back to Gaza, it is very likely that heavier ones were sabotaged or completely destroyed by Palestinian fighters.
In addition, more than 3,000 rockets launched from Gaza damaged dozens of houses and hundreds of cars in southern and central Israel. The Rutenberg Power Station near Ashkelon city was also badly damaged.
Overall, the Palestinian attack was a major blow to Israel. The Israeli intelligence failed to predict the attack, while the military and security forces failed to deal with it. As of October 8, many areas outside of Gaza are still under the control of Palestinian fighters.
Israel will likely respond to the attack by launching a ground operation inside Gaza after securing its surroundings. This will only lead to more losses.