By now, all readers are aware of the massive attack by Hamas against the nation of Israel. The Hamas attack, launched from Gaza, caught the Israeli government, intelligence services and military forces apparently asleep. Hamas forces penetrated easily into Israel, occupying several Israeli towns, killing entire families and terrorizing and capturing Israeli citizens. Most readers have likely seen news clips of Hamas fighters roaming the streets of southern Israeli cities unopposed as well as a bulldozer and explosives being used to blow holes in the Israeli border wall. The Israeli military was caught very overconfident. Didn’t any Israeli soldiers at the Gaza border wall have any anti-tank weapons to take out the bulldozer before it reached the wall? Didn’t any Israeli forces have heavy machine guns to open fire on advancing Hamas terrorists long before they reached the wall? Many have seen the photos of an Israeli tank destroyed by Hamas. Does Hamas now have sophisticated anti-tank weapons? if so, they must have been supplied by Iran, the weapons supplier for Hamas. I did see one unsubstantiated report on the internet that drones were used by Hamas to kill Israeli soldiers on the Gaza defense wall just before the attack. Iran specializes in military drones, and it is a major supplier of attack drones to Russia which uses them against the Ukraine. If such a drone attack occurred, it is further evidence that Iran was the instigator of this attack.
At the risk of having my post get “dated” before readers can see it, I will offer some initial comments on this major new Mideast War. The first link, second link, third link and fourth link offer many text and video options about the Hamas attack and the early Israeli military response. This attack occurred on a religious Holy Day in Israel, which likely explains some of the reasons why Israel’s defenses were so poor in the early phase of this war. Many army troops were likely given leave to attend the Holy Day with their families. This is reminiscent of the Yom Kippur War when, decades ago, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel on the High Holy Day of Yom Kippur when the Israeli military had only a skeleton force of defenders on duty. Hamas learned from that historical lesson, but the Israeli military seemed to have forgotten its own history that the Israeli nation is especially vulnerable on Holy Day observances when most soldiers are on leave. It was also an intelligence failure by the USA. Presumably, Israel and the USA share critical security intelligence. The ease with which Hamas terrorists poured into Israeli towns surely means the USA was also caught flat-footed by this attack as well.
Many see the obvious hand of Iran behind this attack by Hamas. Hamas could not have produced so many thousands of rockets and missiles within the Gaza Strip. They had to be supplied by Iran. Iran’s intelligence services must have detected that the Gaza Wall was lightly defended by Israeli troops, and that it was a good time for them to attack. The Iranians may have planned the Hamas attack with military precision. Iran also has been watching, no doubt, with growing concern the apparently imminent normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia (the topic of my most recent post). It would be entirely within Iranian policy goals to order Hamas to launch this war so Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations cannot realistically make peace with Israel during an Israeli-Palestinian/Hamas war. Media pundits and commentators have opined on this point, and I think they are right. It is hard to see the Saudi-Israeli peace pact progressing at all until this current war is in the rear view mirror.
As of my writing this post, there are reports that over 700 Israelis (!) have been killed and many more than that wounded. Israeli military actions have hit targets in Gaza, but, as of the writing of this post, the “unprecedented” response by Israel’s armed forces, promised by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has not yet begun. The fifth link shows one of the early Israeli military actions: the demolition of a very large skyscraper building in Gaza. It has been reported that many Israeli citizens were taken hostage by Hamas terrorists as they rampaged through Israeli streets. I saw one media report that over 100 hostages have likely been taken. I saw a story on Fox News tonight that approximately 1,000 Israeli youth were attending a concert and Hamas terrorists captured many of them–taking 250 of these Israelis out and summarily executing them (a Nazi-style act). Given that Hamas has likely spread out the Israeli captives all over Gaza City and near Hamas military locations, it hobbles the Israeli military response as they justifiably fear to kill Israelis when they hit Hamas targets. Recent reports are indicating some of the captives likely have American citizenship as some of the captives either have joint American-Israeli citizenship or were simply American tourists visiting Israel who got swept up by Hamas terrorists. If so, this means America has a duty to rescue its citizens and punish the Hamas terrorists also. There are reports that American warships are nearing the Israeli/Gaza coast. We will see if they open fire in the future or not. So far the Palestinian Authority (PA) has not joined this war. This may be a strategic decision by the PA. The PA and Hamas compete for leadership roles within the Palestinian community. If the PA sits this war out and lets Israel and perhaps other nations annihilate Hamas, it will leave the PA in charge of Palestinian affairs.
Readers are cautioned that this paragraph contains some very troubling information and at least one video confirming it. There are many reports on the internet that the Hamas terrorists have stripped Israeli women captives and paraded them naked through the streets of Gaza as trophies of war (sixth link, seventh link and eighth link). Some links report that Israeli corpses are even being displayed on Gazan streets–a macabre act. If these reports are true, Hamas has made a very deadly strategic mistake. As Israelis see videos of Israeli women paraded naked through Gaza’s streets, they will want more than revenge. They will want to see Hamas annihilated! Indeed, if Netanyahu’s government doesn’t accomplish that objective, it will likely fall and all senior military and intelligence leaders will be replaced. If some of the women paraded naked prove to be US citizens, many Americans will also want all Hamas members annihilated. Netanyahu and his government have to find a way to not just “declare war” on Hamas but also to annihilate it. The degenerate acts by Hamas and the Palestinians in Gaza should also outrage the governments and citizens of Arab nations, and this may either lessen or end the support of some Arab nations for Hamas.
This war will apparently take some time to unfold. It could expand into a much-larger war. I saw on NBC News this evening a video of rockets being fired at Israel from Southern Lebanon–a Hezbollah-controlled region. I also saw an interview with a former Israeli Ambassador to the USA (I didn’t catch his name) that the way you kill a snake is to attack its head, not its tail. He likened Iran to the head of the snake of terrorism, and the interview included the possibility Israel may strike Iran directly as part of its retaliation for Hamas’ attack and cruelty.
One person interviewed on TV (I did not catch the name) had the chilling observation that this recent slaughter of Jews/Israelis is the largest such act since the Holocaust ended in Europe, and it happened in Israel …where Jews are supposed to be safe. Clearly, as long as Hamas exists, Jews are not so safe after all…even in Israel. Psalm 122:6 instructs us that we should “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” Now is a good time to heed those biblical words.
The Apostle Paul was quite right in his comment in II Timothy 3:1 “that in the last days, perilous times shall come.” We are living in those prophesied times.
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