Day Six Of Swords Of Iron
Egypt is not allowing Gazans to enter Egypt, and Israel does not allow food, energy, or water to enter Gaza.
The IDF notified the United Nations that the entire Palestinian population north of Wadi Gaza—approximately 1M people—should relocate to southern Gaza within 24 hours, a UN spokesperson says.
A UVA professor offered extra credit to students attending a pro-Hamas or anti-Israel rally; the state AG is investigating.
The IDF used a bulldozer to demolish a Huwara pizzeria that posted an adverti featuring an elderly woman abducted by Hamas to Gaza.
The Charles E Smith Jewish Day School in Montgomery County, MD announced it would be closed on Friday, October 13, 2023 (28 Tishrei 5784).
In light of recent information that we received from the Israeli Embassy, while there is no specific threat to the CESJDS community at this time, and in an abundance of caution, we have decided to take the unprecedented step of closing our campuses and canceling classes tomorrow, Friday, October 13.
The safety and security of our school community on campus remains our top priority. This situation is very fluid, with new information coming at us regularly. We continue to closely monitor the situation and maintain continuous direct contact with the FBI, Montgomery County Police, DC Fusion Center, Israeli Embassy, Security Desk at the Federation, and other Jewish schools in the area.
We understand this is an ever-evolving situation and it’s a very difficult time for all of us. Our goal this week has been to remain calm, supportive, flexible, and understanding for our students and our school community. Thank you for being our partners in this unprecedented time.
CESJDS continues to stand in complete solidarity and support with Israel and its people at this most difficult time in Israel’s history. Just as Israel plays a central role at school on a daily basis, CESJDS stands and will always stand together with Israel and her people.
We pray for the safety of Israel, its defense forces, all of our Jewish brothers and sisters around the world, all innocent people in the region who are in harm’s way, and for the speedy, safe return of those who have been captured.
Per the Al Quds Brigade: Commander-in-Chief of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades Sami Al-Hassani, has been killed by an Israeli airstrike on his home. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is based in the West Bank, not Gaza.
The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) declared the situation in the Gaza Strip “dire,” warning that supplies of food and water are running out after Israel cut off supply. WFP Palestine country director Samer Abdeljaber said the situation is “devastating.”
“We’re seeing shortages of fuel, of water [and] electricity. We are seeing our shelters that are overcrowded. We don’t have capacity…The bakeries are not going to be able to provide food for tomorrow. So tomorrow is going to be a very difficult situation for the people in the shelters and the people outside the shelters.”
“It’s a dire situation in the Gaza Strip that we’re seeing evolve with food and water being in limited supply and quickly running out,” said Brian Lander of WFP. “We’re providing food to thousands of people that have sought shelter in schools and elsewhere across the territory. But we’re going to run out very soon.” Lander asked Israel and Egypt to create a humanitarian corridor to allow relief workers to bring supplies to Gaza. “We’ve seen a number of sites that are considered humanitarian, or clinics and schools that have been hit by the strikes. So … we again … we are calling on the parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law.”
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said fuel for hospital generators in Gaza will be exhausted soon, and that stocks of aid and medicine within Gaza were stranded.
Israeli energy minister Israel Katz said no power, water or fuel will be allowed to enter Gaza until Israeli hostages are returned home.
The number of Palestinian deaths has risen to 1,537.
Israeli Netanyahu says he was updated about Hamas terror infiltration at 6:29 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7.Senior IDF and security officials reportedly held an assessment hours before the incursion after receiving “weak scraps” of information of threats, but concluded that the activity in Gaza was likely a drill.
Mass protests by immigrants broke out in Paris in support of Palestine and Hamas. Police used tear gas to quell the protesters.
"Let us not, through illusion or calculation, add national divisions to international divisions, and let us not give in to any form of hatred", said French premier Emmanuel Macron, saying that the number of French people killed by Hams has risen to 13. There are 17 French citizens, including four children, who are missing. Macron promised to do "everything" to retrieve the hostages. "I speak to the families tonight and I want to tell them that France is doing everything in its power, with the Israeli authorities and our partners, in order to bring them home safely because France never abandons its children,” he said.
Israel is preparing for a long ground war in response to Hamas's unprecedented and deadly surprise attack. The IDF has hit more than 2,700 targets in Gaza, including 136 command centers and 40 underground facilities. An underground parking structure is being prepared as a hospital. The number of IDF troops killed reached 220. There are numerous reports that Hamas is holding at least 150 Israelis hostage.
Al Jazeera columnist Marwan Bishara penned a column titled "Israel is manufacturing a case for genocide" for the online journal. "Calling Saturday’s Hamas attack ‘Israel’s 9/11’ will only help the fanatical Israeli government unleash armageddon on the region," was the subtitle. Bishara wrote, "Some of the images from Israel are no doubt gruesome – but the images from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, etc have been no less horrific. Two decades of Western and Israeli wars in the Middle East have led to not thousands, but millions of Arab and Palestinian casualties. In the eyes of the West, it seems, Israel has a “duty” to defend its people, but the Palestinians don’t have the right to protect themselves as if they are people of a lesser god! Israel seemingly also has a right to defend and even expand its occupation and apartheid regime, but the Palestinians have no right to express their frustration or struggle for freedom and justice after seven decades of dispossession, oppression and siege."
The above cartoon circulated by French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
"Israel cuts the supply of water to Gaza." The figure responds, 'That's barbaric.'
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit Israel on Oct. 13 and meet with Israeli PM Netanyahu. It follows Secretary of State Blinken's visit to Israel. Austin will meet defense officials and Israel’s new emergency government.
Israel is warning its citizens abroad to take extra care tomorrow, when Hamas has urged ‘day of rage’. The Foreign Ministry and the National Security Council issued a joint statement urging all Israelis abroad to take extra care, citing the Hamas terror group’s call on its supporters worldwide to participate in a “day of rage.” Israel expects Hamas to attack on Israelis and Jews, and that rallies will be violent. Israelis and Jews are recommended to “show alertness, stay away from protests and demonstrations, and if possible get updates from local security forces about possible protests and incidents of unrest around them.” Security is being increased at Israeli embassies worldwide. France is also increasing security at Jewish schools, community centers, and synagogues.
Despite video and ocular evidence, Hamas’s deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri said that the terrorist group’s policy is to not target civilians. He claimed that Hamas only targeted the IDF’s Gaza Division stationed on the Israeli border — despite overwhelming proof of systematic rape and murder of civilians, including infants and women. “We knew that there were [Israeli] plans to launch a massive attack against us after the [Jewish] holidays,” al-Arouri said, according to the pro-Hamas Shehab news outlet. “We preempted it by surprising the commanders of the Southern Command,” which includes the Gaza Division. He did not provide evidence of Israel's plans to attack Gaza.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi acknowledged failures that allowed Hamas’s infiltration and mass murders. “The IDF is responsible for the security of the country and its citizens, and on Saturday morning in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip, we did not handle it. We will learn, we will investigate, but now is the time for war,” Halevi said in his first public statement since the conflict began.
Germany offered military help to Israel and will address support for Hamas in Germany. Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated Germany's responsibility for Israel's security.
The German Defense Ministry has agreed to allow Israel to use two of five Heron TP combat drones that are currently leased by the German military and were already in Israel for the training of German servicepeople. Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Israel has requested ammunition for warships, a request that will now be discussed.
According to IDF, 247 soldiers have been killed since the war began. Yesterday, the butcher's bill stood at 222.
Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi deplored statements made this week by Donald Trump, who mocked Israel for intelligence failure to anticipate the attacks and for failing to go on the offensive against Hezbollah following deadly clashes along its northern border. The accused president said PM Benjamin Netanyahu of “letting him down,” and called Defense Minister Yoav Gallant a “jerk.” Minister Karhi told Israel’s Channel 13 that it is “shameful that a man like that, a former US president, abets propaganda and disseminates things that wound the spirit of Israel’s fighters and its citizens.”
US, Qatar reach “quiet agreement” to not release US$6B after Hamas Attack, Iranian Support.
White House national security spokesman Adm. John Kirby said that Iran has not accessed any of the $6 billion in funds transferred to a Qatari account as part of a prisoner swap with the Islamic Republic amidst reports that the U.S. and Qatar seek to block access to the funds.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin banned all pro-Palestine protests as fears of antisemitic violence rise in France and the rest of Europe. There are approximately 500,000 Jews and 5 million Muslims in France. France has the largest Jewish community in Europe.
Police in Jerusalem killed a terrorist near Herod's Gate: the entrance to Jerusalem's old city. Two officers were wounded in the attack by the terrorist, who had used a makeshift submachine gun. One officer was seriously wounded while the other was slightly wounded, police said.
Near London, England, two Jewish schools were closed "for safety of children". Following reports of increasing incidents of antisemitism, Torah Vodaas primary school and Ateres Beis Yaakov primary school, both in north London, said they would not reopen until Oct. 16. Citing Rabbi Feldman of Torah Vodaas in Edgware, reports said that while there was “no specific threat to our school”, it was “not a decision that has been taken lightly”.
Secretary of State Blinken said in Israel that the US is working “as hard as we can” to ensure there will not be an expasion of the war. He echoed President Biden's warning that no state or non-state actor should take advantage of the situation. He said it is “vitally important” that democracies respect and follow international law. “It’s what distinguishes us from terrorist organizations like Hamas, which have absolutely no regard for the rule of law, for humanitarian rules and rights for any basic standards of human decency,” he said.
When asked about images shown to him by Israeli officials, he said he had seen some but “unfortunately there are many, many others”. Blinken said, "Every day, the world is seeing new evidence of the depravity and the inhumanity of Hamas. Depravity and inhumanity directed at babies, at small children, young adults and elderly people, people with disabilities. The list goes on."
The chief diplomat said he has discussed with Israeli leaders how to address the humanitarian needs of Gazans. Blinken said Hamas terrorists are using Gazan civilians as human shields, putting them in danger in order to protect themselves. Civilians should not be targeted by miiltary, he said, even while Israel “conducts its legitimate security operations to defend itself from terrorism”. Regarding a humanitarian corridor for Gazans to flee the destruction, he said, “That’s a discussion that we will pursue in the coming days.”
X, formerly known as Twitter, removed hundreds of accounts associated with Hamas and removed or labeled thousands of pieces of content since the militant group's attack on Israel, according to the CEO Linda Yaccarino. Today, she spoke of her company's efforts to deal with illegal content flourishing on the platform in response to demands from a top EU official to know how X is complying with the EU new digital rules during the Israel-Hamas war.
Britain will send two Royal Navy vessels to the eastern Mediterranean and begin surveillance flights over Israel in a show of military support designed to reassure Israel, per The Times of London.
New York City Police has ordered all officers to report in uniform on Friday in preparation for rallies in New York City in support for “Palestinian Authority Arabs.” Hamas international representative Khaled Masha’al has urged Muslims worldwide to stage protests. All precincts of NYPD will monitor parking areas and police stations. “All uniformed members of the service in every rank will perform duty in the uniform of the day and be prepared for deployment,” said the NYPD memo. No shift changes or days off are to be granted and the order is to remain in effect “until further notice,” according to the memo quoted by the New York Post.
Rev. Gabriel Romanelli is a Catholic priest who leads a tiny Christian community in Gaza. He told the Latin Catholic Patriarchate on Oct 12 that there are 1017 Christians living in Gaza. He said that four Christian families, who have lost their homes to the Israeli bombardments, are currently taking shelter inside their church. He said that in total there are 150 people staying at the church and associated monastery and school. Catholic nuns are there to serve the families.
Rev. Romanelli said that Pope Francis spoke to him since the beginning of the war and urged him to continue praying. “He said he would do his best to put to an end this horrific war.” The priest said that his congregation is running out of food and water, and that there is no electric power.
NYC braces for so-called “Global Jihad Day”; all NYPD officers told to report in uniform beginning Friday Oct 13.
Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Catholic patriarch of Jerusalem, issued a statement calling for prayer and fasting on Oct. 17 in the cause of peace. He called on Christisn to pray and “to deliver to God the Father our thirst for peace, justice, and reconciliation.”
“In this time of sorrow and dismay, we do not want to remain helpless. We cannot let death and its sting (1 Cor 15:55) be the only word we hear,” he said in a statement.
In Israel, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “Israel has the right to defend itself”, but added: “How Israel does this matters.” Israel has continued to bomb Gaza, killing terrorists and Palestinian civilians. “We know Hamas doesn’t represent the Palestinian people,” says Blinken, adding that the militant group rules repressively.
On the evening of Oct. 11, hundreds of supporters of Palestine crowded into a public theatre in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit that has the largest mosque in North America.
Waving Palestinian flags, the crowd heard Osama Siblani of Arab American News, who spoke to the cheering crowd and said:
"We are not going to be intimidated when they say Hamas is a terrorist organization. The fact is that it is not a terrorist organization. And we have to say to them 'The terrorist is Benjamin Netanyahu and his government." The US government has designated Hamas a terrorist organization.
Nasser Beydoun, who is running as a Democrat for the US Senate, denounced Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and US Senator Gary Peters (D). "They are not with us today because they were busy dancing yesterday. I want you to remember that before we can end the occupation of Palestine, we have to end the occupation in Congress." Beydoun wore a keffiyeh scarf around his neck as the crowd cheered him and booed at the names of the Democrats he mentioned. Some members of the crowd wore keffiyeh scarves or balaclavas to disguise their faces, while some wore headbands reminiscent of those worn by Hamas terrorists. While most of the groups were Muslim, there was one ant-Zionist Jewish organization present, according to a report by WDIV television news.
Syrian media reported that the IAF struck Aleppo International Airport and Damascus International Airport. No casualties were reported at either, according to the report.
Israeli PM Netanyahu met privately with Secretary of State Blinken in Israel this morning.In a bilateral news conference, Netanyahu said the “barbarians of Hamas” must be crushed. “Thank you for your important visit here today,” and added, “Thank you, thanks to President Biden, and thank you to the American people for your incredible support for Israel in our war against the barbarians of Hamas.” In Hebrew, he said, “Mr. Secretary, you have come to a hurting nation, a fighting nation, a nation of lions, a nation that is determined to defeat the forces of evil around us.”
In English, he said, the visit “is another example of America’s unequivocal support for Israel.” “Hamas has shown itself to be an enemy of civilization. The massacring of young people at an outdoor music festival, the butchering of entire families, the murder of parents in front of their children and the murder of children in front of their parents. The burning of people alive. The beheadings. The kidnappings – of a young boy, not only kidnapped, molested, hurt, attacked,” Netanyahu says.
Deploring the “celebration and glorification of evil,” he said, “President Biden was absolutely correct in calling this sheer evil.”
Netanyahu continued, “Hamas is ISIS, and just as ISIS was crushed, so too should Hamas be crushed.” “And Hamas should be treated exactly as ISIS was treated…They should be spit out from the community of nations. No leader should meet them. No country should harbor them. And those that do should be sanctioned,” he says.
“Thank you America for standing with Israel today, tomorrow, and always, “ Blinken replied.
Sirens wailed in Jerusalem, warning against missile strikes. No reports of injuries or damage at this time.
El Al to fly on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, for the first time in more than 40 years to fly Israeli reservists into the theatre of war. Flights will come from the US and Asia to bring reservists, security and rescuers stranded abroad. El Al Israel Airlines announces that for the first time since 1982, it will fly on a Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, to bring back Israelis called up for emergency military reserve duty as well as security and rescue forces stranded abroad. The carrier will not charge for these flights and has received religious approval for flying on the Sabbath based on the principle that saving a life trumps other requirements of Judaism.
It is reported that the IDF have demanded that the residents of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip vacate their homes, about 70-80 thousand people. Hamas often then threatens them not to leave, to force them to be human shields. In this case, the warning is more than enough per international law.
Prof. Asher Cohen, President of the Hebrew University, Prof. Tamir Sheafer, Rector of the Hebrew University, and Prof. Barak Medina have written to the presidents of Harvard and Stanford to make it “unequivocally clear that there is no room for ‘balance’ or justification when it comes to such a heinous assault by Hamas on Israel.”
Rep Jack Bergman (R-MI) has introduced a motion to censure Rep Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
A set of resources for explaining Israel in many languages has been compiled for wide reading and sharing.
Israeli defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Israel has suffered “the worst terror attack the world has ever seen.”
“What happened has not happened to the Jewish people since 1945,” he said of the surprise attack by Hamas. Recounting stories of heroism on the part of Israeli civliians and military to stave off the attackers, he vowed that Hamas will be "obliterated." Standing next to PM Netanyahu and National Unity leader Gantz, he said, “Hamas, Daesh of Gaza will be wiped from the face of the earth.” He said, “There’s no situation in which you kill Israeli kids and we go about our business.”
China’s foreign ministry said its ambassador for Middle East affairs Zhai Jun liaised with Egypt's minister for Palestine on Oct. 11 to reiterate China's support for a two-state solution and promote an “immediate ceasefire and cessation of violence”.
Zhai emphasized that a two-state solution as “the fundamental solution” for peace. Zhai was quoted as saying, according to The Guardian, “The international community should make practical efforts with the utmost sense of urgency to promote it.” China has offered humanitarian to Gaza.
IDF spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said the military “can say with relative confidence” that it was Hamas who decapitated babies at Kibbutz Be’eri on Oct. 7. The Guardian newspaper said it had not independently confirmed whether babies had been beheaded at Be'eri and Kibbut Kfar Aza on Israel's border with Gaza. Yossi Landau, who heads Israel's volunteer civilian emergency response in southern Zaka, told CBS news that he saw beheaded children and babies at an unspecified location. However, as of October 12, it remains unconfirmed that there were decapitated children at the kibbutz
Conricus said, "Out of 1,000 Israelis who lived in this beautiful community, 100 were killed. Today, body bags, many body bags, were evacuated from that kibbutz, including those of children, and including those of babies. We got very, very disturbing reports that came from the ground that there were babies that had been beheaded. And I admit it took us some time to really understand and to verify that report and it was hard to believe that even Hamas could perform such a barbaric act. But after eyewitnesses came forward, and after a senior official in the Israeli coronary service Zaka came forward on record on CBS news and said ‘yes, I saw the bodies of beheaded babies’, I think we can now say with relative confidence that this is unfortunately what happened in Be’eri. This is what Hamas did to Israeli citizens.”
Hamas has not commented on the claims. At Kibbutz Be'eri, approximately 100 bodies of Hamas terrorists were found by IDF troops when they reached the town.
The IAF tweeted that it killed senior Hamas operatives last night. The announcement read: "During the night (Thursday) the air force launched a wave of attacks with the aim of continuing to damage the commando force of the terrorist organization Hamas known as ‘Nachaba’, by attacking operational headquarters which were used by operatives who infiltrated the Otaf settlements last Saturday. Also, air force aircraft killed Muhammad Abu Shamla, a senior operative from the Hamas naval formation in the Rafah Brigade. Abu Shamla’s house was also used to store naval weapons intended to carry out terrorist operations against Israel."
Speaking in Palm Beach on Oct. 11, Donald Trump denounced President Biden in remarks about the war against Israel. Saying he was the "best friend Israel ever had," Trump remarked: "Under my leadership the world was peaceful and calm because America was respected … with crooked Joe Biden, you have chaos, bloodshed, war, terror and death,” Trump said. “Joe Biden came along and tossed Israel to the bloodthirsty jihads.”
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is offering to negotiate the release of hostages taken into Gaza. There are more than 150 Israelis and others being held by the Hamas terrorists in Gaza, following the surprise attack on Oct. 7. Among the hostages are members of Israel's military and civilians, including women, children, and elders.“As a neutral intermediary we stand ready to conduct humanitarian visits; facilitate communication between hostages and family members; and to facilitate any eventual release,” said Fabrizio Carboni, the ICRC’s regional director for the Near and Middle East. Carboni said the taking of hostages is forbidden by international law; hostages must be released immediately, he said.
Regarding Israel's retaliation for the attacks, Carboni said, “The human misery caused by this escalation is abhorrent.” Having announced a "complete seige" of Gaza, Israel has cut off the supply of electricity, water, and food. Egypt is refusing entry to Gazan refugees. The US is negotiating with Egypt and Israel to form a humanitarian corridor to relieve the Gazaqns. Carboni said of that by depriving Gaza of electricity, “hospitals lose power, putting newborns in incubators and elderly patients on oxygen at risk. Kidney dialysis stops, and X-rays can’t be taken." He added, "Without electricity, hospitals risk turning into morgues.” Drinking water is scarce; Carboni said, "No parent wants to be forced to give a thirsty child dirty water.”
In the early morning hours, the IAF conducted “large-scale strike” on Hamas targets, including Jabalia. According to Palestinian media, the death toll in Gaza has risen to 1,200, with around 5,600 wounded.
Israel’s ambassador, Gilan Cohen, in Tokyo: “Japan should be vigilant and look at what Hamas is doing with the aid.” Cohen also thanked Japan for acknowledging the Hamas attacks as “terrorism” and averring Israel's right to self-defense.
Israeli energy minister Israel Katz tweeted:
“Humanitarian aid to Gaza? No electrical switch will be turned on, no water hydrant will be opened and no fuel truck will enter until the Israeli abductees are returned home. Humanitarianism for humanitarianism. And no one will preach us morality.”
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt had spoken to UK PM Rishi Sunak about the need for regular humanitarian relief to Gaza. This followed a “complete siege” by Israel, blocking movement of civilians and the supply of food, fuel, electricity, and water to Gaza. Egypt’s border crossing to Gaza is closed following allegations that Israel had bombed the area. Israel would neither confirm nor deny. Egypt has not declared whether Palestinians will be allowed entry.
Israel confirms identity of 97 hostages held in Gaza by Hamas since Oct. 7. Over 100 people have been abducted by the terrorist organization.
“The military is preparing for the next stage of the war,” Daniel Hagari said in a press briefing, adding that 222 soldiers had been killed since Oct. 7. Saturday.
Black and White
According to The Guardian, Israeli ambassador to EU and Nato Haim Regev spoke about Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant’s message to NATO. “The main message of the minister was that it was a savage attack, brutal attack by terrorists – Hamas is Isis – and we are expecting full support,” the ambassador said. “We do not ask specific things from NATO as NATO,” he added. “The idea,” the ambassador said, “was to share with NATO what Israel faces since the beginning, since Saturday morning – and the minister focused on that, because it’s important to understand against whom we are standing.”
“It’s black and white,” he added. “Israel is fighting against a terror group – not against anybody else.”
According to Gallant, Iran provides funds and other support to Hamas. The NATO ministers were shown video displaying Hamas atrocities. Regev said strong backing for Israel resulted from the meeting. “We would like to see a statement by NATO – strong statement, strong support,” he said. “For us, it was extremely important that the defense ministers will hear from firsthand what happened,” he added. As to whether Israel had asked for support from any NATO members other than the US, Regev said, “Israel is a strong country.” “We have all the means right now that we need,” he said, noting that with the exception of the US, Israel is not asking for specific assistance.
UK health secretary Steve Barclay said Hamas is responsible for its attacks on Israel. He promised “strong support” for Israel even while calling for adherence to international rules of war. Regarding the effects of Israel’s bombing on Gazans, he said, “The UK does have sympathy. That’s why we contribute about 10% of the aid that is distributed in the region through the United Nations.” However, Barclay said, “Israel has a right to defend itself but also to deter future attacks from Gaza. So Hamas are responsible for what we’re seeing in Gaza.”
He added: “We agree that international law, international rules of war should be adhered to. And those are the sort of conversations I’m sure the foreign secretary [James Cleverly] was having in Israel yesterday. But we should also be very clear: it is Israel that has been attacked here.”
According to authorities in Gaza, more than 1,200 residents have been killed and 5000 wounded.
October 12, 2023