Nearly 200 Palestinians have died and 1,600 are injured following a counterattack by the Israeli military, according to Palestinian health officials.
Dozens of Israeli Defence Force fighter jets have struck a number of Hamas military compounds and operational command centres in Gaza.
The airstrike by the military is in retaliation to thousands of rockets fired into Israeli territory this morning by the Palestinian militant Hamas group.
Hamas fired thousands of rockets on the Gaza Strip and sent dozens of fighters across the country's heavily fortified border.
The latest reports from Israel suggest at least 100 people were killed and hundreds more were injured.
It's also being claimed around 50 Israeli hostages are being held by gunmen near the border.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has strongly advised against any non-essential travel to Israel and Palestinian territory and against all travel to the Gaza Strip.
“Please avoid all travel to Southern Israel, and exercise extreme caution in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” it said.
Tánaiste Micheál Martin has condemned the attacks online and called for "an immediate cessation of all hostilities".
Israeli Police Force Representative Dean Elsdunne said the retaliation operation is intensifying.
“There's been multiple locations of engagement with the terrorists,” he said.
“This is an infiltration into neighbourhoods that have civilians and families that were at home and our specialised units and large police forces are right now responding to this.”
Israeli Prime Minister called the action by Hamas a “murderous surprise attack”.
"We are at war - not an operation, not rounds, but war," he said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said people have the right to defend themselves against the "terror of settlers and occupation of troops".
Palestinian Initiative Representative Mustfa Barghouti said the attacks are a reaction to the "oppression" Palestinians have faced for decades.
"The world community has done nothing to stop an occupation that has become the longest in modern history," he said.