'We fear what the coming days will bring': Canadians respond as Israel declares 'state of war' after Hamas attack

Hundreds are dead and thousands feared injured as tensions between Israel and Gaza escalate following a surprise terror attack by Hamas

Israel's prime minister says the country "is at war" on Saturday after a surprise attack led by Palestinian militant group Hamas saw a barrage of rockets being fired into Israeli territory that is resulting in hundreds of deaths, and thousands more injured.

Dubbed as “Al-Aqsa Storm,” the Hamas military commander Muhammad Al-Deif said in a recorded message that the group “targeted the enemy positions, airports and military positions with 5,000 rockets” and that the assault on Israel is the response to the the desecration of the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and the ongoing siege of Gaza.

“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,” Al-Deif adds in the recording.

Israel has since responded in a wave of attacks from air, land and sea — an operation they have since dubbed "Operation Iron Swords."

Gaza health ministries are reporting a total of 232 deaths and 1,700 injured so far on Saturday.

Canada reacts

As Canadians awoke to news of the attacks in the Middle East Saturday morning, Canadian officials and organizations were quick to release statements condemning the attacks.

"These acts of violence are completely unacceptable," reads a statement posted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to X, formerly known as Twitter.

Canadians appear to be reacting strongly to the prime minister pledging his support to Israel.

"We must stand firm in our support of Israel and its right to defend itself against violence," reads a statement shared by Ontario Premier Doug Ford shared to the social platform early Saturday.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also shared a statement over social media on Saturday which reads, "We fear what the coming days will bring. Terrorism and violence solve nothing."

As a large number of Israeli diaspora call Toronto their home, the mayor issued a response over social media saying that she too, condemns the attacks, and that "Toronto police are not aware of threats to Jewish communities in Toronto and are working to ensure the safety of Jewish communities in the city."

Toronto's police chief also offered a statement that the police force is monitoring the situation closely.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland offered a response to the attacks, calling them "barbaric."

Newly-elected Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew also offered up his condemnation of the attacks, saying he had been in touch with members of the Jewish population in the province to express solidarity.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly also issued a social media statement saying, "My heart is with the victims and all those affected by these attacks."

Demonstrations are reportedly being held in Toronto that appear to celebrate the Hamas-led invasion of Israel.

The Centre for Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East also released a statement that calls on the Prime Minister to demand action on an immediate ceasefire in Gaza to prevent further bloodshed.

The executive director of UNICEF Canada released a statement saying, "I am deeply concerned for the wellbeing of children in Israel and the State of Palestine."

National flag carrier Air Canada has also issued a statement saying it has temporarily halted all service to Israel citing civil unrest, and it has implemented its goodwill policy to enable passengers with existing reservations to get home safely.