The large-scale surprise assault has left more than 1200 dead in Israel, according to public broadcaster Kan. It prompted a lethal volley of retaliatory Israeli airstrikes on Gaza that has killed at least 900 people.
As they retreated into Gaza, the militants claimed to have taken at least 100 hostages with them and have threatened to kill them if airstrikes target Gaza without warning. Israel has pledged that Hamas will pay a heavy price and may now be preparing a ground incursion into Gaza.
ORIGINAL STORY AND UPDATE ON CNN