Day Two Of Swords Of Iron
Israel is galvanized by surprise invasion by Hamas terrorists, who killed civilians and abducted elderly, women and children.
Middle East Monitor reports that President Biden had approved release of $75 million dollar aid to Palestine just hours before Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. Secretary of State Blinken approved the release of $75 million in crucial food assistance for Palestinians just hours before the funds were set to be redistributed elsewhere.
UNRWA has been a frequent target of Republicans. After he assumed office, President Joe Biden reversed ex-President Donald Trump’s efforts to squeeze off funding to the UN agency and Palestinians generally.
The Wall Street Journal reports: "Iranian security officials helped plan Hamas’s Saturday surprise attack on Israel and gave the green light for the assault at a meeting in Beirut last Monday, according to senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah, another Iran-backed militant group."
At approximately 10pm local time in Gaza, explosions are lighting up the night sky in the last hour as the IAF continues to make bombing sorties.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered the USS Gerald R Ford carrier to head its “strike group” closer to Israel following Hamas’s “heinous” attacks.
President Biden told Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu that “additional assistance for the Israeli Defense Forces is now on its way to Israel with more to follow over the coming days.”
The United Nations World Food Programme wants humanitarian corridors established to deliver food into Gaza following Israeli air strikes in response to Hamas’s attacks.
UK premier Rishi Sunak told Netanyahu that Britain stands with Israel “unequivocally against these acts of terror,” but that “no-one wants to see regional escalation.”
Hezbollah combantants, who receive support from Iran, have been seen approaching Israel's border with neighboring Lebanon.
Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi said Iran supports Palestine: “Iran supports the legitimate defence of the Palestinian nation” and added “the Zionist regime and its supporters are responsible for endangering the security of nations in the region.”
Israel said 800 Hamas targets have been struck in Gaza since the Palestinian militant attacks started on October 7. Hundreds of Hamas fighters have been killed, and dozens more captured.
The UN’s relief agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, claims thousands of people are sheltering in its 44 schools around Gaza and food distribution for more than 112,000 families was put on hold.
Up to 100 Israeli hostages, including women and children, may have been taken into Gaza by Hamas, hugely complicating any Israeli military operation to free them. The US government is investigating reports of American hostages also being taken, as well as some other nationalities. Hamas is distributing videos of Israeli women being abducted.
Israel's death toll rose to at least 600, including 44 soldiers. In Gaza, officials reported at least 413 deaths.
Israeli PM Netanyahu said Israel is at war and would exact a heavy price from its enemies. Hamas leaders said they were prepared for further escalation.
The IDF stated that the Israeli military has killed “hundreds of terrorists” and captured dozens captured during street fighting.
As a wider war was expected, UN secretary general, António Guterres, urged “all diplomatic efforts to avoid a wider conflagration”.
Israel's ambassador told reporters ahead of a UN Security Council meeting on Sunday that Hamas's attacks on Israel are war crimes. Ambassador Gilad Erdan said it is time to "obliterate" Hamas' military infrastructure.
Hamas is the Gaza branch of ISIS, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said. "In this war, we are fighting against a murderous terrorist organization that harms the women, infants and the elderly," Gallant tweeted, adding: "We will fight it as we fight against criminal terrorists, and we will win."
President Joe Biden told Israeli PM Netanyahu that the US is sending additional assistance for the Israeli Defense Forces.
Precision strikes by the IDF have struck multiple Hamas observation posts and combat positions, according to an IDF statement.
Iran supports Hamas, said Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a statement. According to a Tasnim news agenc report, he said that "the Zionist regime and its supporters are responsible for instability in the region."
Hezbollah combatants are approaching the Israeli Border, according to the Jerusalem desk of Jewish News 24.
Journalist Hananya Naftali posted a video of an Israeli family apparently being held hostage by Hamas terrorists. A man and a woman, a boy and a girl are in view. The boy sobs uncontrollably while the girl says she can't believe her sister is dead. Blood can be seen on the hands of the man being held hostage.
An Israeli father wept openly and begged for his daughter's life. She was abducted by Hamas terrorists, who swept her away on a motorbike to parts unknown. Dozens of other Israelis have been abducted. Children, too. The British press issued a still from a video of the abduction in which the young woman cried, "Don't kill me!"
The Democratic Socialists of America held a rally in NYC's Times Square in solidarity with the Hamas terrorists who invaded Israel on October 7. The party boasts as many as six U.S. House of Representatives as members, including Reps. Jamaal Bowman of New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Greg Casar of Texas, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Cori Bush of Missouri, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. All of them caucus with the Democratic Party.
The Democratic Socialist Party of America announced its rally on Twitter, saying, “In solidarity with the Palestinian people and their right to resist 75 years of occupation and apartheid.” In a series of missives, the New York City chapter tweeted: “Today’s events are a direct result of Israel’s apartheid regime—a regime that receives billions in funding from the United States.”
Rep/ Ocasio-Cortez is a bitter critic of Israel and has referred to the “occupation of Palestine.” During the 2018 Hamas-organized Gaza border riots she accused Israel of a “massacre.”
In 2020, Ocasio-Cortez praised at least 10 antisemitic groups in a letter she signed along with other Democrats opposed to Israel’s possible annexation of parts of Judea and Samaria.
Rep. Omar, a Muslim native of Somalia, tweeted in 2019: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” in reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and accused Israel of “hypnotizing” the world. She also sponsored a House resolution equating boycotting Israelis to boycotting Nazis. Omar was voted “Antisemite of the Year” in a poll sponsored by the watchdog group StopAntisemitism.org.
The spokesman of Izzuddin Al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Obaidah, said: “We thank the Islamic Republic of Iran who provided us with weapons, money and other equipment! He gave us missiles to destroy Zionist fortresses, and helped us with standard anti-tank missiles!”
The UK issued a travel advisory advising against all but essential travel to Israel and Palestine.
Britons requiring consular assistance should call the following numbers: +972 (0)3 725 1222 or +972 (2) 5414100. If you experience technical difficulties with these or if you are in the UK, call +44 20 7008 5000, the advisory said. The UK Foreign Ministry warned that the international air and land borders in Israel and Palestine may close at “short notice.” “The security situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories can be fast moving, tense and unpredictable. You should be vigilant at all times and keep up to date with local media and travel reports. Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including places visited by foreigners including the Old City in Jerusalem, on public transport, and in busy public spaces,” it added.
Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Herzog said that there was an “element of surprise” in the Hamas attacks. He said that Israel “will have enough time to investigate once we conclude that war in victory.” Herzog told CBS’s Face The Nation: “We suspect Iranian hands behind the scenes, as you know Hamas and Iran are closely tied. Iran provides a material support, funding weapons to Hamas. They are tied in what they call the Axis of Resistance, of course, resistance to the existence of the State of Israel. They are part of the same coalition. So, as far as we are concerned, this is an Iranian led coalition and we suspect that Iran is involved.”
As to whether Israel will retaliate against Iran, he said. “I’m not going to say what exactly Israel is going to do. But I will just say that whoever strikes Israel, we’ll strike back.”
AFP reported that Iranian president Ebrahim Raisii said the Islamic Republic supports Palestinians’ right to self-defense. He said, “Iran supports the legitimate defense of the Palestinian nation.” On Iranian state television, Raisii said, “The Zionist regime and its supporters are responsible for endangering the security of nations in the region, and they must be held accountable in this matter.” He also urged Muslims to support Palestine.
Foreign Secretary Alicia Bárcena of Mexico said two Mexican citizens, a man and a woman, have allegedly been taken hostage by Hamas in Gaza yesterday. "We are in contact with authorities in Israel and family members to provide follow-up, support and care,” Bárcena said.
One French citizen has been killed amid the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza, Reuters reported on October 8. French president Emmanuel Macron condemned Hamas’s attacks against Israel and talked to Israeli PM Netanyahu, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and other regional leaders.
Israel struck 800 Hamas targets in Gaza, killing hundreds of Hamas terrorists, said an Israeli military spokesperson. Dozens Hamas operatives have been captured.
Former US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said: “It’s not Israel that needs America. America needs Israel.” The Republican presidential candidate said, “Americans need to remember, it’s not that Israel needs America. America needs Israel. Israel is the front line of defense for the Iranian regime and terrorists that want to hurt us and want to hurt our friends and we need to be honest with the American people about that,” said Haley.
Hamas distributes video of Israeli children abducted by the terrorists and now held in Gaza. The toddlers are being kept in cages.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy spoke with Israeli PM Netanyahu to offer Ukraine’s solidarity. In a Sunday tweet, Zelenskiy expressed his condolences for the victims in the ongoing attacks. “The Prime Minister informed me of the current situation and the actions of Israel’s Defense Forces and law enforcement to repel the attack. I noted the cooperation between the Israeli police and Ukrainian diplomats with regard to the safety and protection of Ukrainian citizens in Israel,” he added.
Major airlines cancelled dozens of flights to Tel Aviv as fighting continued. American Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa, Emirates, Iberia, Air Canada, and Ryanair were among those pulling flights to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport. However, commercial air links with Israel’s second international airport at Eilat, a tourist destination on the Red Sea, continue.
The Israeli flag carrier El Al is maintaining its Tel Aviv flights for now, though some flights operated by foreign partners had been cancelled.
The UN’s relief agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said thousands of people were sheltering in 44 Gaza schools around Gaza. Distribution of food to over 112,000 families was put on hold.
The German government said it's reviewing its hundreds of millions of euros of aid to Palestine following its attack on Israel. Development Minister Svenja Schulze claimed Germany had always been careful to check that the money was only used for peaceful purposes. “But these attacks on Israel mark a terrible fracture,” she said. “We will now review our entire engagement for the Palestinian territories.” Germany will discuss how development in the region could best be served, and coordinate with international partners, she said. Armin Laschet, chancellor candidate for conservatives in the last election said, "All of Europe, all 27 states, must now say: we need a new start and we will no longer finance terrorists,” while calling for an end to EU cooperation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is based in the West Bank.
Gregor Gysii of the Left party said Hamas, and not all Palestinians, were responsible for the attack.
IDF spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conicus said as many as 100 Israelis, including women and children, may have been abducted and taken into Gaza by Hamas. Video is being circulated by Hamas of bloodied Israeli soldiers and civilians - some hooded and with their hands tied – being frog-marched away by Hamas terrorists to whereabouts unknown.
Israeli PM Netanyahu held discussions with German chancellor Olaf Scholz, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni, and British PM Rishi Sunak. His office said all expressed support for Israel’s right to defend itself “as much as it takes.”
The United States is seeking to verify reports that Americans were killed in Israel, acording to Secretary of State Blinken. He called the attack the worst since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, “but there’s a fundamental difference. That was a war that was state-to-state, country-to-country, army-to-army. This is a massive terrorist attack that is gunning down Israeli civilians in their towns, in their homes.” He added, “As we’ve seen so graphically, they’re literally dragging people across the border with Gaza, including a Holocaust survivor in a wheelchair, women and children. So you can imagine the impact this is having throughout Israel and the world should be revolted at what it has seen.”
Two Argentines and are reported dead and two Brazilians are missing since the outbreak. Rodolfo Fabián Skariszewski, a 56-year-old father-of-three from Córdoba in Argentina was reportedly killed in Moshav Ohad, a village near the Gaza Strip, while walking his dog on Oct. 7. Argentine president, Alberto Fernández increased state security for Argentina's Jewish community, and condemned what he called Hamas’ “brutal terrorist attack”.
A second Argentine, named as Abi Korin, was also killed, according to the ArgentineJewish News Agency (AJN). Korin lived at the Holit kibbutz, also near Gaza.
At least two Brazilians have also been reported missing including a 24-year-old from Porto Alegre called Ranani Glazer. Glazer had been attending a local edition of the Brazilian psychedelic trance festival “Universo Paralello” near the Gaza border when it was attacked. He reportedly fled to a nearby shelter before disappearing. “Nobody knows where he is,” his friend, David Hodara Hodz, told the Brazilian news website G1.
A witness told Estado de São Paulo newspaper that she and boyfriend looked up at the sky at 6:30 am on October 7 and saw incoming missiles. She said some people fled on foot or automobile but others sheltered in place because they did not know there was also an assault on land.
Israel's schools will remain closed until at least Tuesday night. Businesses south of Netanya and north of the central Negev could only be opened if there was access to bomb shelters. Outdoor gatherings are restricted 10 people and indoors gatherings restricted to 50 in those areas.
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: "If you’re cheering on the slaughter and rape of innocent women and children even from the sidelines
ou’re an enemy combatant whether you pick up a gun or not."
IDF is battling Hamas on the streets of southern Israel while launching strikes that leveled buildings in Gaza, more than 24 hours after Hamas launched a surprise attack and unprecedented incursion into Israel that is the deadliest since the Yom Kippur War.
Israeli media reports at least 600 Israelis were killed, including 44 soldiers, and more than 2,000 wounded. 313 Palestinians were killed, including 20 children, and nearly 2,000 wounded as a result of airstrikes in Gaza since Saturday, the Palestinian authority said. Seven people were also killed by Israeli army fire in the West Bank.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country was at war and would exact a heavy price from its enemies. Hamas and Hezbollah leaders said they are prepared for further escalation.
IDF said “hundreds of terrorists” had been killed and dozens captured as the fighting continued on Oct. 8.
In northern Israel, a brief exchange of strikes between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, also funded by Iran, piqued fears of a broader conflict. Hezbollah has already vowed to go to war with Israel should the Jewish State invade Gaza.
In Egypt, a policeman shot dead two Israeli tourists and an Egyptian at a tourist site in Alexandria.
The UN Security Council is due to meet on Sunday after the secretary general, António Guterres, urged “all diplomatic efforts to avoid a wider conflagration”.
Briton Jake Marlowe, 26, went missing early on Oct 7 after an attack on an outdoor dance party near the Israeli kibbutz of Reim. His mother said he was providing security at the rave. Mother Lisa Marlowe told Jewish News, "He was doing security at this rave and called me at 04:30 to say all these rockets were flying over,” she said. “Then, at about 05:30, he texted to say, ‘signal very bad, everything OK, will keep you updated I promise you,’ and that he loves me.”
She said his phone was on but she could not reach him.
France has stepped up visible security around synagogues and Jewish schools following Hamas attacks in Israel, according to French PM Élisabeth Borne. She told BFMTV: “We have stepped up security at places of worship and at the schools. There is no specific threat at this stage, but we will remain extremely vigilant.”
A US-based group that opposes anti-Semitism has revealed that an editor at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has issued directives to journalists concerning coverage of Hamas' invasion of Israel. According to StopAntiSemitism.org: "We have just obtained what appears to be a leaked email written by CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corp) employee George Achi instructing reporters to: 1. not to mention Gaza has not been occupied since 2005. 2. not refer to Palestinian terrorists as terrorists . If true, this employee, must be fired." Achi is the Director of Journalistic Standards at CBC, the newsite that is subsidized by the Canadian government.
The Democratic Socialists of the US announced on Twitter that it is organizing a rally in support of the Hamas terrorist invasion of Israel at Times Square in New York City at 1 pm today.
Israel has killed “hundreds of terrorists” and captured dozens while engaged in combat with Hamas terrorists who invaded the country on October 7.
Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters that Hamas had launched an unprecedented assault, killing hundreds of Israelis and taking hostages into Gaza while firing thousands of rockets.
Meanwhile, Israel Defense Forces have launched airstrikes throughout Gaza and levelled buildings.
Pope Francis called for end to attacks and violence in Israel , telling people assembled outside St. Peter's Basilica that war would not solve any problems. “War is a defeat, only a defeat. Let’s pray for peace in Israel and Palestine,” the pope said in his weekly address.
The Guardian reported that dozens of people are registering at a missing persons center at a police station near Ben Gurion airport, getting DNA swabs.
Two Israeli tourists and an Egyptian national have been shot dead in the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria by a police official, according to the news website Cairo24. The attack occured at the Serapeum of Alexandria, an ancient Roman monument.
The newsite, which has links to the Egyptian intelligence services, said a police officer working with the security service in the area fired shots “from his personal weapon” at an Israeli tour group that was visiting the shrine.
“The police officer was immediately arrested and legal proceedings will be taken against him,” they said. One injured person was transferred to hospital for treatment.
In recent years, bilateral Israel and Egypt relations have improved. Egyptian officials, including top intelligence official Abbas Kamel, have mediated with Palestinian militant groups in an effort to cool relations in Gaza, despite Egypt closing its border with the Gaza Strip.
Hamas attacked a rave party during the morning hours on October 7. The outdoor rave had drawn hundreds of people near Israeli kibbutz of Reim. Video on social media showed dozens of people running through fields and along a road, escaping militants as gun shots were heard. “The music stopped and there was a rocket siren,” a young woman named Ortal told Israel’s N12 News television. “Suddenly out of nowhere, they started shooting.”
On October 8, Israeli families continued to search for young people who were missing from the party.
The Israeli embassy in London confirmed to the BBC that a British citizen, Jack Marlowe, was missing. The BBC reported that his mother said he had been working as security staff at the dance party.
October 8, 2023