Israel’s famed intelligence agencies and defence forces face serious questions over how they failed to spot an unprecedented assault by Hamas from the Gaza Strip that has shaken the region to its core.

While the number of casualties on both sides is hard to quantify, Israeli media has put the death toll of its civilians and soldiers at around 700, making it “by far the worst day in Israeli history”, said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Hamas’s surprise attack on Saturday “truly was Israel’s 9/11”

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