More than 700 people have been killed in Israel as of Sunday after a bloody surprise attack by Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip.
More than 700 people have been killed in Israel as of Sunday after a bloody surprise attack by Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Defense Forces are fighting to regain control of southern villages from Hamas terrorists as the true nature of the horror inflicted upon Israeli civilians in what many are calling “Israel’s 9/11” begins to emerge.
- The death toll in Gaza has risen to 400 as Israel pounds the narrow strip along the Mediterranean Sea with airstrikes. “The price the Gaza Strip will pay will be a very heavy one that will change reality for generations,” said Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.
- Saturday was “the worst massacre of innocent civilians in Israeli’s history,” and the IDF’s righteous response to the war Hamas started has led to the deadliest day in Gaza in at least 15 years, according to officials in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his citizens, “We are embarking on a long and difficult war. The war was forced upon us by a murderous attack by Hamas.” “We will restore security to the citizens of Israel and we will win,” he said as his government formally declared war for the first time since 1973.
- Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced the US would deploy a carrier group and fighter jets closer to Israel to show support and would provide military assistance as soon as Sunday. The attack on Israel comes as Israel and Saudi Arabia appeared close to agreeing to a normalization deal that would have reshaped the region.
- Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer confirmed on Sunday that Hamas has taken American hostages. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the State Department was working to verify reports that multiple Americans were killed in the surprise attack.
- Later Sunday, the US government confirmed that four American citizens have been killed in the attacks on Israel. Among the “scores” of hostages taken by Hamas include foreign citizens, a Holocaust survivor in a wheelchair, young women, toddlers, and entire families.
- A trance music festival near the Gaza border became the site of a brutal massacre. Volunteers at the site have collected more than 260 bodies after 50 terrorists in vans stormed the field and tents nearby and fired bullets indiscriminately into the crowd of fleeing festival goers. Among the missing from the festival are 23-year-old American-Israeli Hersh Golberg-Polin, whose last message to his parents was “I love you” and “I’m sorry,” and British citizen Jake Marlowe, 26.
- The stories emerging from Southern Israel are utterly horrific. Debbie Shahr Troen Mathias and Shlomi Mathias, the daughter and son-in-law of a Brandeis University professor, were murdered in their home shielding their son. Noa Argamani, 25, was kidnapped at the music festival and can be seen on video screaming “Don’t kill me! No, no no,” as she is carried away on a Palestinian terrorist’s motorcycle.
- The drawbacks of two key vacancies were thrown into sharp relief by the Hamas surprise attack. There is not currently a US Ambassador to Israel, and Senate Democrats plan to make the quick confirmation of Biden’s nominee, ex-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, a top priority.
- The lack of a House Speaker after 8 Republicans voted with Democrats to force out Kevin McCarthy allowed the Biden administration to claim Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry was not a member of the “Gang of Eight” top congressional leaders on national security and refuse to give an intelligence briefing to the House’s top Republican. The lack of a speaker could also delay the passage of any emergency military aid packages for Israel.
- The Republican presidential candidates all issued statements supporting aid to Israel, which marked a reversal for Vivek Ramaswamy, who previously said he was in favor of slashing aid to Jerusalem before changing his position without explanation. Many candidates, including former President Donald Trump, blamed the Biden administration for the assault after President Joe Biden authorized the release of $6 billion to Iran, the chief backer of Hamas.
- Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan was roundly mocked for her initial statement that vaguely referred to “communities impacted by what’s happening in the region” without mentioning “Israel” or “Hamas” by name. Whitmer later issued a longer response after the backlash.
- The members of the “Squad” of far-left Democrats waited hours before commenting on the attacks, only to call for several to call for an “immediate ceasefire and de-escalation,” as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) put it. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) went farther, calling for an end to “support for Israeli military occupation and apartheid” and casting more blame on Israel and the US for the massacres of innocents than on Hamas. Essentially, the Squad believes that now that Hamas has killed 700 Israelis and kidnapped scores more, it’s time for Israel to stop fighting.
- The New York Times covered the fury many House Republicans expressed toward the eight collaborators who ousted McCarthy, rendering the House leaderless while Israel is under attack. House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) called the impact of their coup “dangerous” and Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY) blasted the eight as “idiotic.” Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH), the leading candidates for speaker, both pledged to support Israel.
- The Washington Post chronicled how the mass murders at the music festival near the Gaza border celebrating “friends, love, and infinite freedom” unfolded. Gunmen stormed the festival without any warning, and hunted down fleeing partygoers for hours. One attendee, 22-year-old Shani Louk, is believed to be the woman whose lifeless body was shown in videos being paraded through Gaza in the bed of a truck, face down and partially nude, while militants abused her body and the crowd cheered. Her death has not been confirmed, and the family is “still holding out for news.”
- Jacobin’s Seraj Assi defended the Hamas attack and made the case that Israel was asking for it. The mass murders of civilians and kidnappings of children and entire families are “a chilling reminder of the horrors that occupation creates — and the urgency of dismantling Israel’s blockades and apartheid system.”
- The New York chapter of Democratic Socialists of America held a pro-Palestinian rally on Sunday in Times Square, the New York Post reported. The New York Post Editorial Board condemned the “soulless New York City progressives” who reveled in the murders and kidnappings of hundreds of Israelis. Top Democrats joined in. “Never mind the hundreds of Israeli civilians and children who have been murdered, wounded, abducted, and terrorized. Their lives mean nothing to the DSA. Nothing,” wrote Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY). “The NYC-DSA is revealing itself for what it truly is: an antisemitic stain on the soul of America’s largest city.” Gov. Kathy Hochul blasted the rally as “abhorrent and morally repugnant.”
- Elliott Abrams wrote for National Review that the Hamas surprise attack “changes everything” and will force Israel to make “extremely difficult choices.” After Oct. 7, “The idea of a modus vivendi with Hamas is dead. Gaza will now need to be treated like Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon or like Iran itself. The border will obviously need greater fortification. But should Israel seek to reoccupy Gaza? That seems to me a very unlikely outcome — for all the practical reasons Prime Minister [Ariel] Sharon took Israeli forces out of there in 2005. What then can be done? Create large buffer zones on the Gaza side of the border? Destroy more of Hamas’s own infrastructure in Gaza? Restrict further the dual-use materials Hamas is able to import?”
- The Wall Street Journal reported Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed terrorist group based in Southern Lebanon, had fired mortar shells and missiles into Israel on Sunday morning. The barrage “raised the specter of a second front opening in the conflict as Israel prepared for broader strikes on militant targets in Gaza. Hamas sought to sow more turmoil, calling for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank to riot and confront Israeli soldiers there.”
© Dominic Moore, 2023