From the beginning: On Saturday morning, hundreds of Hamas militants invaded Israel, ramming through Israel’s south border on foot, by truck and motorcycle, and by paragliders, with backing from the Iranian government.
- Hamas militants landed on an ongoing music festival and massacred over 260 Israeli concertgoers. Videos emerged of Hamas terrorists parading the bodies of dead, naked women, many of whom were brutalized and raped before being killed. There are accounts of those who survived the massacre by hiding in piles of dead bodies.
- Other militants entered 15 miles into Israel, going house to house through communities in South Israel, rounding up women and children into rooms, and gunning them down. They shot civilians in their cars, at bus stops, and on sight. Over 1,000 Israelis were killed, with some entire family units murdered together. Jewish babies were reportedly beheaded.
- The details are gruesome: In one case, terrorists murdered a grandmother and live-streamed it for her family to witness. In another, a child was reportedly killed in front of her siblings and parents.
- There are over 150 confirmed hostages consisting of full family units, children, infants, and the elderly, who were abducted by Hamas and brought back to Gaza. Among the abducted are a handful of American citizens, 11 of whom are confirmed dead. Hamas has threatened to start executing hostages on live television. Families have gone to the media to plead for their loved ones.
- Thousands of rockets were launched throughout the country, overwhelming Israel’s Iron Dome system, which has stopped rockets in the past without forcing Israel to go to the source: Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in Gaza, both financially backed by Iran and sometimes through the West’s aid to Palestinians.
Where we are now: Israel is watching its border on three fronts — Gaza on the east with Hamas, Lebanon to the north with Hezbollah, and the West Bank with other Palestinian terror groups. The U.S. sent an aircraft carrier to the area and Biden has given Israel the green light to defend itself. Almost 600 Palestinians have died as Israel has retaliated and attacked Gaza, home to Hamas.
Why it matters: Israel was founded to be a safe haven for Jews. This weekend, it failed, as this marked the single largest attack with the most Jews killed in a day since the Holocaust. Serious changes in attitude toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will likely follow.
Zoom out: Israel is a small country, about the size of New Hampshire, with the population of New Jersey. When there are terror attacks with victims in the single digits, everyone knows someone who knows a victim. A thousand civilian deaths in such a country is difficult to fathom. Israel’s current death toll is akin to 25 times that of America’s 9/11.