News Digest — 10/10/23

Prime Minister Netanyahu Addresses Nation On Day-3 Of War

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the nation Monday evening (9th) on the third day of the war against Hamas. 

“We know who Hamas is, now the whole world knows.  Hamas is ISIS, we will defeat them the same way the West defeated ISIS,” Netanyahu declared, adding, “Gaza will become a city of swords.”

“Israel is at war.  We didn’t want this war.  It was forced upon us in the most brutal and savage way.  But though Israel didn’t start the war, Israel will finish it.  Once the Jewish people were stateless.  Once the Jewish people were defenseless.  No longer,” he said.

According to him, “Hamas will understand that by attacking us, they have made a mistake of historic proportions.  We will exact a price that will be remembered by them and Israel’s other enemies for decades to come.”

“In fighting Hamas, Israel is not only fighting for its own people.  It is fighting for every country that stands against barbarism.  Israel will win this war, and when Israel wins, the entire civilized world wins,” Netanyahu concluded.”

According to Health Ministry figures, the death toll from the Hamas massacre which began Saturday morning (7th) has risen to over 900 and will likely continue to rise.  The number of injured is 2,616.  



Fighting Spreads To Israel’s Northern Border, 6 IDF Soldiers Wounded, IDF Commander Killed

A terrorist infiltration was reported in northern Israel on Monday afternoon (9th), outside of the town of Adamit, in the northwestern Galilee, less than half a mile from the Lebanese border.

Residents of Adamit and the surrounding area were instructed to remain in their homes.

According to preliminary reports, a group of at least five terrorists were spotted, with Israeli ground forces and military helicopters engaging the terror cell.

Israel conducted searches of the surrounding area for additional terrorists who may have infiltrated across the border.

An IDF spokesperson confirmed the infiltration, adding that two of the terrorists had been killed.

“IDF forces killed a number of armed individuals who had crossed into Israeli territory from Lebanon,” the spokesperson said.  “The soldiers are continuing their searches of the area, in addition, combat helicopters are right now engaged in combat in the area,” he said at the time.

Six soldiers were injured in a firefight, with one listed in serious condition, while the remaining five are in light and moderate condition.

There were also initial reports of combat at four other sites in the north, including Mount Dov (Shebaa Farms) in the Golan Heights, as well as outside Ya’ara and Zarit in the western Galilee near the Lebanese border.  

The IDF said the deputy commander of the 300th”Baram” Regional Brigades, Lt. Col. Alim Abdullah, 40, from the northern Druze village of Yanuh-Jat was killed during clashes with gunmen. Two other soldiers were reportedly killed in clashes. according to the military.

The infiltration in the north came after a rocket was fired at northeastern Israel from Lebanon, landing in the upper Galilee.

Warning sirens were heard in Ramot Naftali and Yiftach.



We Will Support Israel And Its Efforts To Defend Itself

The leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States on Monday (9th) released a joint statement condemning Hamas and expressing support for Israel in the wake of Hamas’ attack on the country.

“Today, we – President Macron of France, Chancellor Scholz of Germany, Prime Minister Meloni of italy, Prime Minister Sunak of the United Kingdom, and President Biden of the United States express our steadfast and united support to the State of Israel and our unequivocal condemnation of Hamas and its appalling acts of terrorism,” the statement said.

“We make it clear that the terrorist actions of Hamas have no justification, no legitimacy, and must be universally condemned.  There is never justification for terrorism.  In recent days, the world has watched in horror as Hamas terrorists massacred families in their homes, slaughtered over 200 young people enjoying a music festival, and kidnapped elderly women, children, and entire families, who are now being held as hostages,” the leaders added.

“Our countries will support Israel in its efforts to defend itself and its people against such atrocities.  We further emphasize that this is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage.”

“All of us recognize the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, and support measures of justice and freedom for Israelis and Palestinians alike.  But make no mistake: Hamas does not represent those aspirations,and it offers nothing for the Palestinian people other than terror and more bloodshed,” the leaders stated.

“Over the coming days, we will remain united and coordinated, together as allies, and as common friends of Israel, to ensure Israel is able to defend itself, and to ultimately set the conditions for a peaceful and integrated Middle East region.” they concluded.



UN Security Council Refuses To Condemn Hamas War Crimes Against Israel

The United Nations Security Council declined to condemn the war crimes committed by Hamas against Israel.

The war has so far resulted in 900 dead and more than 100 hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, including children, babies and elderly women.

“This is Israel’s 9/11,” stated the Israel Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan.  “From now on, nothing will be as it was.”

Despite the UN’s establishment, post-Holocaust, to uphold the “never Again” principle, Erdan criticized its continuous failure to hold Hamas accountable for its actions.

“Hamas’ war crimes must be unequivocally condemned,” he said.

While the UNSC held a closed-door special meeting on the situation, no official statement was released afterward. 

US Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, indicated that such a statement was not the immediate priority for Washington.

“What’s more important now is that the international community shows its solidarity with Israel.  We have Israel’s back, fully,” Wood declared.

The focus of the meeting also encompassed the proportional response and protection of civilians, as noted by the United Arab Emirates’ Ambassador to the UN, Lana Nusseibeh.  The humanitarian impact was highlighted through mounting evidence on social media showcasing the civilian cost, including images of elderly individuals and children abducted by Hamas.  Erdan slammed these as “blatant documented war crimes.”

In a vivid account, Erdan detailed the atrocities, comparing the terrorists to Nazis and noting that some of the elderly victims were Holocaust survivors.

Predictably, the Palestinian Authority envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour, drew attention to the Palestinian suffering and cautioned against backing for an Israeli military initiative in Gaza.  He emphasized the human cost on the Palestinian side and urged the international community to reevaluate their stance on the ongoing conflict.

Erdan equated Hamas to globally recognized terror entities such such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda.  He reprimanded the international community for previously failing to censure Hamas and accepting it as a representative voice for the Palestinian populace.  Reflecting on past events, Erdan reminded the world of the diverted international aid intended for Gaza’s rehabilitation but used for terrorist activities.

In closing remarks, Erdan warned of the broader implications of the conflict.  “Israel may be under attack today, but this is a war on civilization.  Israel is at the forefront of the war on terror, and if we do not succeed, the whole world will pay the price,” he proclaimed.

US Deputy Ambassador Wood echoed similar sentiments, urging all Security Council members to categorically denounce the terror acts, and said all attempts to draw a “false” equivalency between the Hamas assault on Israel and IDF actions to ensure security was “unacceptable.”

“It’s terrorism, plain and simple,” he said.



U.S. Confirms  At Least 9 Americans Killed In Hamas Terror Assault

The United States has confirmed the deaths of nine U.S. citizens in the War between Israel and Hamas, with more unaccounted for, and fears they were taken captive.

“At this time, we can confirm the deaths of nine U.S. citizens,” US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Monday (9th).

“We can confirm that there are unaccounted for U.S. citizens, and we are working with our Israeli partners to determine their whereabouts,” he said.

The Hamas attack’s death toll on Monday (9th) reached 900 with the possibility of it climbing to 1,000.  The Government Press Office, a body that operates under the Prime Minister’s Office, said that the number of hostages in Gaza is over 100, as Hamas said it was holding around 100 and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group said it had some 30 more.

The Health Ministry said the number of wounded in hospitals had reached 2,616, including 25 in critical condition and 357 seriously wounded.

The dead included at least 73 soldiers, including top officers and 34 police officers.

After scores of Hamas terrorists took over dozens of towns and slaughtered and abducted civilians there, the liberation of most communities and other areas Sunday (8th) from Hamas control revealed shocking scenes of the streets, fields and highways littered with bodies, abandoned vehicles and personal belongings, with many people having been slain in their own homes.

Other foreign nationals have also been confirmed killed in the onslaught.

Twelve Thai nationals were killed, Thailand’s Foreign Ministry said.  Eleven others were taken hostage and eight were injured.  Hundreds of Thai citizens work in agriculture in southern Israel.

A German-Israeli was believed killed after footage showed terrorists bringing her seemingly lifeless body across the border in the back of a truck. 

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Maneton confirmed the death of a Cambodian student who was in the country when the terror erupted.

Media in Canada said one citizen was killed and two others are missing.

Also, in the U.S. major airlines on Monday (9th) suspended flights to Israel.

American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Airlines suspended temporary service to Israel, as the U.S. State Department issued travel advisories for the region, citing the potential for terrorism and civil unrest.  



EU, Germany, Austria Suspend Funding For Palestinian Authority

The European Union announced Monday (9th) that it was “immediately” suspending hundreds of millions of euros in aid for the Palestinian Authority because of what an EU commissioner called the “scale of terror and brutality” during the Hamas invasion of Israel.

Germany and Austria also announced similar measures.

“We need action and we need it now,” EU Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi tweeted.

It also underscored EU’s support for Israel since the Hamas attacks started on Saturday (7th), including that Israel had now every right to defend itself within the bounds of international law.

The surprise announcement  by Varhelyi on development aid came just hours after EU officials stressed that no EU money whatsoever was going to Hamas in the first place and that contacts had been frozen for 16 years. 

After hours of uncertainty over how deep the measures would reach and whether they would possibly also affect aid to those in immediate need, EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Janez Lenarcic said that the most urgently needed aid to Palestinians “will continue as long as needed.”

“While most strongly condemning the terror attack,” Lenarcic said, “it is imperative to protect civilians.”

Beyond that, Varhelyi said that “as the biggest donor of the Palestiinians, the European Commission is putting its full development portfolio under review,” which he said amounted to $730 million. 

Varhelyi said that the measures include that “all payments be immediately suspended.  All projects will be put under review, and all new budget proposals will be postponed until further notice.”

“The foundations for peace, tolerance and coexistence must now be addressed.  Incitement to hatred, violence and glorification of terror have poisoned the minds of too many,” the  Commissioner wrote.

The EU’s most populous member, Germany, and its neighbor Austria, also said they were suspending development aid for the Palestinian Authority.

However, Germany isn’t suspending the humanitarian aid it provides separately via non-governmental organizations because the Foreign Ministry says the payments pledged each year support “life saving work.”

Meanwhile, Austria’s Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said on Monday (9th) that all development aid payments will be “put on hold for now.”  He said the funds affected were about 19 million euros.

He said that Austria would review all projects with the Palestinian areas and consult with its international partners on further steps.



Hamas’ War On Israel Offers Sobering Clarity In The Fight Against Evil- Aviva Klompas

It is already clear that Palestinian terrorists have crossed a line as never before.  In an era when the line between right and wrong is constantly blurred, this is a moment of sobering clarity.  Hamas has sunk to a depth of savagery that should shock us to the core.

The terror group infiltrated Israel and attacked nearby communities.  They slaughtered the elderly, gunned down civilians in their homes, kidnapped mothers with babies in their arms, mutilated the bodies of men and women, and paraded their victims through the streets of Gaza in a show of celebration.

Through these and many other inhumane acts, Palestinian terrorists have shown their fight is not about settlements or checkpoints.  On Saturday (7th), we saw what militant Palestinians and their supporters mean when they tell us they want the land “From the River to the Sea.”  They want every inch of land – every city, town and kibbutz – between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and they want it cleansed of every single Jew.

Some things are not open to interpretation.  Certain lines should never be crossed.  We must never confuse the terrorists who target civilians, with an army that targets terrorists who attack its civilians.  (Newsweek)