In a devastating series of events over the weekend, Palestinian militant group Hamas initiated a series of attacks on Israel, resulting in the death of over 900 Israelis and injuring more than 2,600.
The onslaught, which occurred on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, also claimed the lives of at least 11 Americans. There are also unconfirmed reports suggesting that some Americans might be among those abducted and currently held captive in Gaza. Early Saturday, Israel was bombarded with a barrage of rockets, with the count reaching approximately 4,500, as per Israeli sources. In a coordinated strategy, drones were deployed by the militants to target Israel’s border defenses, effectively disabling them. This was followed by a massive infiltration of over 1,000 militants who breached the border using various means, including paragliders and vehicles. Their mission seemed clear: target and harm civilians.
War with Hamas—67 hours in.
We are actively operating to put a stop to the horrors the Hamas terrorist organization is inflicting on Israel. pic.twitter.com/TA4TLorKb4
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 9, 2023
In retaliation, Israel has launched a series of airstrikes aimed at the militants and has mobilized a significant number of reservists, hinting at a potential ground assault in Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stern warning on Monday, emphasizing that the attackers would soon realize the gravity of their actions and that Israel’s retaliation would be etched in history.
Drawing parallels to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, top U.S. officials highlighted the scale and impact of the attacks on Israel. A Hamas spokesperson, in a conversation with the BBC, acknowledged receiving support from Iran but refrained from naming other supporters.
A compilation of Hamas clips shows how the terror group invaded southern Israel yesterday. First they bombed Israeli observation towers and weapons systems on the border, then fired hundreds of rockets as terrorists on paragliders flew over the border. Moments later, Hamas… pic.twitter.com/D4iIoCV51q
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) October 8, 2023
Meanwhile, Hezbollah, another militant group backed by Iran, also initiated attacks on Israel during the same period.
Celebrations erupted in Iran following the attacks on Israel, with citizens taking to the streets, setting off fireworks, and displaying nationalistic fervor. Nasser Kanani, the spokesperson for Iran’s foreign ministry, lauded the attacks as a continuation of victories against Israel. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, took to social media to express his sentiments against Israel, reiterating Iran’s long-standing support for Palestinian militant groups.
Experts from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) have expressed concerns over the Biden administration’s policies towards Iran, suggesting they might have inadvertently empowered the regime. The U.S. administration’s recent decisions, including easing sanctions and approving significant financial transfers to Iran, have been under scrutiny. While some argue that these funds are not channeled towards militant activities, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has made it clear that Iran retains the autonomy to utilize the funds as it deems fit.