It is a tragedy. More than 1,400 people have been murdered in Israel and 4,010 wounded to varying degrees. It is also reported that over two hundred people are classified as missing or captive after being kidnapped and taken to Gaza. Among the victims, approximately 152 of those murdered and 141 of the missing hold foreign citizenship, including Portuguese citizenship.
The terrorists penetrated the southern settlements and began a murderous killing spree of families and individuals in their homes, in the streets and at a music festival that was being held in the area. They abducted everyone they happened upon on their return to the Gaza Strip - with an emphasis on families, women, children, and even survivors from the Holocaust.
About two hundred Israeli citizens have been abducted and are being held by Hamas, including very small children and the elderly. Many of the abductees were injured by Hamas terrorists, many of them need medical treatment and medication, and the condition of many of the abductees is unknown.
The displacement of tens of thousands of Israelis from their homes in the communities around the Gaza Strip in the wake of the terrorist attack that destroyed their homes and the ongoing rocket fire, and from the northern border communities following the ongoing attacks by Hezbollah on border settlements, has caused a significant humanitarian crisis in Israel. This displacement has intensified the challenging situation in which the survivors of the Hamas massacre in the settlements surrounding the Gaza Strip find themselves.
Hezbollah, the long arm of the Iranian regime in Lebanon, is constantly striving to escalate its activities against Israel, raising the risk of a multi-front escalation, at the expense of the citizens of Lebanon and the entire region.
On Saturday (7 October 2023), in an act of war, over a thousand terrorists infiltrated Israel by land, sea and air at several locations and advanced towards innocent Israeli communities and population centers near the Gaza Strip. This was carried out in conjunction with indiscriminate rocket fire targeting towns and cities in the south, the center of the country, and Jerusalem (more than 6,600 rockets and missiles have been launched so far) with the intent of maximizing harm to civilians.
Over the past few days, anti-tank missiles and mortar shells were fired from Lebanese territory at IDF positions on the Lebanese border while terrorists, under the auspices of Hezbollah, attempted to infiltrate Israel.
This means that Israel is at war against the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. Israel security forces were ordered to protect the citizens of Israel on all fronts. The IDF will protect the residents of the State of Israel; the Hamas terror organization and all the terrorists involved in harming the citizens of Israel will pay a very heavy price.
This was a deadly and barbaric attack - evocative of ISIS's methods of operation - that was initiated by terrorist organizations led by Hamas and launched with no legitimate pretext or provocative prior action on the part of Israel. The terrorist organizations have shown their true faces: bloodthirsty and uncontrollable groups with similar roots to those of ISIS, who are devoid of any moral inhibitions, and are motivated by hatred, the desire to hurt Israeli citizens in every way, and to bring about the destruction of the State of Israel. Hamas is not interested in the safety or well-being of civilians in the Gaza Strip and views them as nothing more than pawns to be exploited in its efforts to harm the citizens of Israel.
These terrorists were raised with constant exposure to incessant incitement to murder Israelis, incitement that also includes the encouragement of terrorism, the glorification of terrorists, and the compensation of assailants and their families.
Israel is at war with the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is the ruler of the Gaza Strip, controlling all aspects of life there. It is behind this attack, and it will be held accountable for the results of these events. Hamas’ leadership bears full responsibility for the current deterioration and for the actions Israel must take in response. Israel will do everything necessary to protect its citizens and its territory.
Israel will act to depose the Hamas regime, destroy its military capabilities and remove the terrorist threat posed to Israel from the Gaza Strip, and will make maximum effort to resolve the hostage issue.