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Hamas Slaughters Israelis, Prime Minister Netanyahu Responds
As hundreds of innocent civilians are being massacred and kidnapped, the state of Israel has begun mounting an offense.
The global spotlight has unfortunately been shone on the State of Israel. The always-present surrounding threats of the region finally made manifest in the last week with a series of horrendous attacks perpetrated by the Hamas terrorist organization.
This past Saturday, October 7th, the missile strike commenced, and it has been rapidly intensifying ever since. It was then that, as the Associated Press noted, “Hamas militants stormed from the blockaded Gaza Strip into nearby Israeli towns, killing dozens and abducting others in an unprecedented surprise attack during a major Jewish holiday Saturday.” The same article went on to cite Israeli media as having reported, “at least 250 people were killed and 1,500 wounded in Saturday’s attack, making it the deadliest in Israel in decades.”
Thus began a new chapter in the bloody history of conflict in the Middle East.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to ABC News, addressed the world later that same “dark day” by declaring war on Hamas.
It is well worth pointing out that the date the attack was launched was the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War back in 1973. This was a skirmish that, as ABC writes, “pitted Israel against Egypt and Syria”.
The eye of Israel also bore witness to what has since been called, with no exaggeration, the “worst civilian massacre in Israeli history.” At the Tribe of Nova music festival, an open-air attack from Hamas resulted in the deaths of, as the Associated Press stated, “at least 260 dead and a still undetermined number taken hostage.”
The AP spoke with one eyewitness, Arik Nani who was there to celebrate his birthday. “We were hiding and running, hiding and running, in an open field — the worst place you could possibly be in that situation.” Heartbreakingly, Nani went on to say, “For a country where everyone in these circles knows everyone, this is a trauma like I could never imagine.”
October 9th brought an atrocious attack waged by Hamas that saw over 900 people massacred as the result of a slew of rockets launched from Hamas into Jerusalem. Emmanuel Fabian at The Times of Israel, has done some rather admirable reporting on and in the region. He published in his article that “...rocket strikes pounded Israeli communities throughout Monday, causing casualties, as southern towns tallied their dead, the Israel Defense Forces launched counterstrikes against the Hamas terror group in Gaza.” Fabian further reported,“...Hamas threatened to start executing hostages it had captured from Israel.”
Emmanuel cited that the “Eshkol Regional Council released a list identifying 47 people killed across 16 of its towns and kibbutzim.”
One recent and almost certainly important update comes to us, once again, in the form of PM Netanyahu. In what might prove to be a potentially odd and ironic bonding agent, Benny Gantz, leader of the National Unity party, and the Prime Minister, along with Defense Minister Yoav Galant have agreed to form an “emergency unity government”. It was communicated by Al Jazeera only earlier Wednesday, in a joint statement:
“Netanyahu and Gantz, a former defense minister and military chief of staff, agreed to form a war cabinet comprising Netanyahu, Gantz and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.”
A thread was posted via The Prime Minister of Israel's account on 𝕏 Wednesday with the full joint statement from PM Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Galant, and National Unity Chairman MK Benny Gantz:
“Citizens of Israel, this evening we have formed a national emergency government. The people are united and today its leadership is also united.
We have put aside every other consideration because the fate of our country is at stake. We will work together, shoulder to shoulder, for the citizens of Israel and for the State of Israel.
The unity of the nation in moments of grief and sorrow breaks through our borders and reaches every corner of the globe. We saw this yesterday in President Biden's important and moving speech.
We are fighting with full force on all fronts. We have gone over to the offensive. Every Hamas member is a dead man. Hamas is ISIS, and we will crush and eliminate it just as the world crushed and eliminated ISIS.
I would like to stand by the soldiers, and the security service and rescue personnel, who are working around the clock in all sectors. The entire people of Israel are behind you.
I say to you, citizens of Israel, to my colleagues here, and to all of you the words of the prophet Isaiah: 'They helped every one his neighbor; and every one said to his brother: 'Be of good courage.' The people of Israel live – and together we will win.”
If only to keep the optimists at bay, it needs to be pointed out, as Al Jazeera does, that the joint statement makes clear that, “the unity government will not promote any unrelated policy or laws except those related to the ongoing fighting with Hamas in Gaza.”
The next step here seems to be an ever-burgeoning offensive already being mounted by the Israelis. Al Jazeera also reported, “Israeli officials have vowed a crushing response, cutting off access to water, fuel, and electricity for the 2.3 million Palestinians who live in the besieged Gaza Strip, where a blockade first put in place by Israel in 2007 has created deteriorating humanitarian conditions.”
The Associated Press reported yesterday: “The morgue at Gaza’s biggest hospital overflowed Thursday as bodies came in faster than relatives could claim them.” The article noted that while the morgue in Gaza City's Shifa hospital has a capacity for around 30 bodies, due to the overwhelming number of casualties, workers were compelled to stack corpses three levels high outside the walk-in cooler and place dozens more side-by-side in the parking area.
As the conflict continues, just this morning, the Associated Press disclosed that the Israelis have issued a warning that will become a promise when their military told over 1 million Palestinians to “evacuate northern Gaza and head to the southern part of the besieged territory.” The AP explained this was “an unprecedented order applying to almost half the population ahead of an expected ground invasion against the ruling Hamas militant group,” adding that the U.N. expressed concerns that a large-scale evacuation within only 24 hours would result in a catastrophe. Meanwhile, Hamas, responsible for a recent and brutal attack on Israel and ongoing rocket fire, brushed aside the warning as a tactic and urged residents to remain in their homes.
There are many acts still yet to unfold in this drama and while there doesn’t presently seem to be an end in sight, Israel has shown they will not go quietly into the night and will mount their response to Gaza.