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Unprovoked, Brutal Invasion Shows Hamas’s Thirst for War

As a nation much like America reels from an inconceivable violation, please stand with us in our hour of need. Israel needs America's support more than ever.
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October 9, 2023
Demonstrators gather to show their solidarity with Israel on October 9, 2023 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Leonhard Simon/Getty Images)

Today, a country much like yours was invaded by barbarians — homes, schools and workplaces have all been overrun, and hundreds have been killed, or worse. Hundreds of Israeli families, much like yours, have been left traumatized and grieving in the wake of unimaginable evil. For the dozens of Israeli hostages who have been forcibly taken to Gaza, and for their loved ones, the nightmare continues.

Fifty years to the day after the start of the Yom Kippur War, as most Israelis were celebrating the joyous holiday of Simchat Torah, Hamas terrorists from Gaza mounted an unprecedented invasion of southern Israel from land, sea and air. They crossed into Israel on motorcycles, trucks, speedboats, and motorized paragliders and launched 2,000 rockets at Israeli cities, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Please understand what is happening and what is different this time, although it is what Hamas has always sworn to do if they gain power over Israeli Jews. Hamas has launched a mass invasion of the Israeli heartland, penetrating neighborhoods and kibbutzim, going house to house, and committing unspeakable atrocities.

While the numbers are expected to rise, as of this writing, over 700 Israelis are known to have been murdered and well over 2,000 wounded on this terrible day. Most horrifying of all, at least 100 Israelis are believed to currently be held hostage in both Israel and Gaza. Some of the images I’m about to share with you in the following hyperlinks are graphic, but they need to be seen.

Video has begun to emerge of Israelis, old and young, male and female, who have been snatched from their homes and taken alive to the terror enclave. There are civilians like a Jewish Israeli woman who was reportedly kidnapped and taken to Gaza, an apparent victim of rape, as well as Israeli soldiers —including commanders — abducted. Horrific and bizarre images show Israeli toddlers held in animal cages as abductors laugh wildly.

An unknown number of young people are unaccounted for from a dance party that was attacked in the desert at Kibbutz Re’im, but there is footage of hundreds of young rave-goers desperately fleeing from incessant automatic fire. Some have been filmed being transported, screaming, to Gaza. There have been eyewitness accounts of mass rapes of young women next to their butchered friends. There are images of Shani Louk, a young German tourist,her half-naked body desecrated and paraded naked through the streets of Gaza, her leg bent at an unnatural angle.

There are many indications that young women were specifically targeted as hostages, and some even had their legs shot off to prevent escape. At least four Americans were among those taken. Some Israelis were beheaded by their assailants in an act of truly medieval butchery.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, said it best in his letter to the United Nations Security Council members: “These are appalling war crimes and the international community must strongly and clearly condemn them.”

We know this attack could not have been possible without the extensive training, coordination, supply and funding that the Gaza terror groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) receive from Iran. Iran has celebrated the gory assault, with a senior advisor to Supreme Leader Khamenei saying it was a “proud operation” that has achieved “brilliant victories.” The Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy on Israel’s northern border, says they’re assessing the situation, and there remains the risk of a multifront war.

The illusion that genocidal terrorists are focused on destroying “settlements” and not Israel itself and its people have been dispelled, along with the theory that Iran would do anything with American funds other than to invest it back into bloodshed and chaos. Most importantly,  it dispelled the myth that there’s any possibility of living side-by-side with a regime controlled by bloodthirsty murderers. As Prime Minister Netanyahu said, Israel is now in a state of war: One our nation did not choose but must win. As a nation much like America reels from an inconceivable violation, please stand with us in our hour of need. Israel needs America’s support more than ever.


Noa Tishby is the former Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism and Delegitimization of Israel.

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