At approximately around 06.30 local time on Saturday 7 October, conflict broke out between Gaza Strip-based Hamas fighters and Israel. The conflict has been claimed by the Palestinian Hamas fighters. In addition to firing rockets into Israel, Gazan Hamas fighters also staged gun fire in Sderot (Southern district). A Hamas fighter infiltration of this scale is unprecedented in Israel. Other areas targeted by Hamas fighters gunmen are the towns of Kfar Aza, Sufa, Nahal Oz, Magen, Be’eri and the Re’im military base (all Southern District).
More than 2,000 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Rockets have reached areas in Southern District as well as areas further north such as Ashkelon (Southern District), places in Tel Aviv District and Jerusalem District.
- Airport status/Commercial flights: Although Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) remained operational for much of 7 October, operations ceased in the afternoon with flights cancelled. No indication has been given by authorities for a reopening.
- Israeli authorities have closed many major roads in Southern District. These include Route 4 from the Zikim junction to Netiv Ha’asara; Route 34 from the Yad Mordechai junction to Nir Am; and Route 232 from Mefalsim to Sa’ad and Nir Yitzhak to Kerem Shalom.
- Many small rural roads in Southern District have also been closed off by the army.
- Rail: Trains between Ashkelon and Sderot have been cancelled.
- Communications & electricity: Mobile phone signal and internet are still operational in affected areas.
Within Israel, the next 24 hours will continue amid a high state of alert, with continued rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
Advice to Organisations’ Workforces
- Inbound travellers
- Defer all inbound travel until at least 11 October.
- In-country travellers
- Follow all official directives.
- Minimise non-essential movement until the situation stabilises.
- Anticipate a heightened security presence across all urban centres. If undertaking essential movement, do not attempt to cross any roadblocks or cordons established by the security forces. Carry proper identification to ease essential passage through checkpoints and follow all official directives.
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