October 13, 2023
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Hamas Had Detailed Maps of Israeli Towns, Military Bases and Infiltration Routes - David S. Cloud (Wall Street Journal)
Hamas forces that flooded into Israel from Gaza on Saturday carried detailed maps of the towns and military bases that they targeted.
Some also carried tactical guides identifying weak spots on Israeli armored vehicles.
The documents in Arabic were recovered from the sites of attacks or bodies of dead Hamas fighters.
The documents indicate that Hamas set out from the start to target not just military installations, but to attack civilian population centers and to take hostages, and they offer evidence of Hamas' degree of planning for the assault.
One 14-page document, dated June 15, 2023, describes a plan for infiltrating Kibbutz Mefalsim and taking residents hostage.
Attackers killed in the town of Ofakim also were carrying maps and other documents, said Almog Cohen, a resident and a member of Israel's Knesset, who took part in the fighting.
One map showed the attackers had targeted the town and knew its landmarks. "The map marks places with crowds, synagogues and kindergartens," he said.
At Least 27 Americans Were Killed in Israel - Joanna Slater (Washington Post)
A scholar committed to peace between Israelis and Palestinians. A former intensive-care nurse. A Missouri native who died shielding her teenage son.
These are some of the 27 Americans who were killed following Saturday's terrorist attacks on Israel.
Hayim Katsman, 32, a PhD scholar committed to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, was hiding in a closet with a neighbor, Avital Alajem, when terrorists overran the kibbutz.
He was closest to the door, Alajem told CNN, and his body absorbed the bullets, protecting Alajem. "He was murdered," Alajem said. "I was saved."
Israel Working to Identify Victims of Hamas Mass Murder Attack - Seth J. Frantzman (Jerusalem Post)
By Thursday afternoon, the bodies of 854 citizens had been collected and were brought to an identification point, with 361 identified and 264 buried.
222 soldiers have been confirmed killed, and 138 have been buried.
Some are difficult to identify after being burned or disfigured. When soldiers are recruited, they provide DNA, fingerprints and photographs of teeth for identification purposes.
Hamas Terrorists Execute 90-Year-Old Israeli Woman - Matan Tzuri (Ynet News)
Shmulik Harel of Kibbutz Kissufim said, "Dozens of terrorists entered Kissufim and broke into homes of innocent civilians. While they were outside, they shouted 'IDF, IDF,' possibly in an attempt to lull us into a false sense of security and make us leave our homes. However, most of the residents sensed that something was amiss."
Among the victims was 90-year-old Gina Semiatich. Hamas terrorists dragged her from her shelter and shot her in the head in her living room.
The terrorists reached the home of the Zaq family: Itai, Eti and their 15-year-old son, Guy. They called on them to leave, but the family refused to exit the shelter, leading the Hamas terrorists to set the house on fire. The entire family perished in the blaze.
IDF Helicopter Pilot Saw a Sea of Terrorists that Crossed into Israel (Israel Hayom)
Lt.-Col. (res.) A., a helicopter pilot, was on call when the infiltration by Hamas began on Saturday and was the first to arrive at the scene.
"At the border fence, I saw that it had been breached, and rivers of people were flowing into the country. It seemed unfathomable. First, you think, What is this? Where are they coming from? In such quantities! They came in cars and bulldozers."
"Our weapon is a hellfire missile. I needed to choose where to hit best. I fire until the armament runs out, pretty quickly, within an hour. We flew to a nearby base to arm ourselves again, and shortly after, I was in the battle zone again."
"The investigations will show the truth - how fast the response was. Obviously, when it comes to such swarms, it is much more complex."
Israel: No Electricity, Water, or Fuel for Gaza until Hostages Freed (Times of Israel)
Energy Minister Israel Katz tweeted: "Humanitarian aid to Gaza? No electrical switch will be turned on, no water pump will be opened and no fuel truck will enter until the Israeli abductees are returned home."
"Humanitarianism for humanitarianism. And no one can preach morality to us."
See also The Impact of Cutting Off Electricity to Gaza - Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman (Jerusalem Post)
Israel supplies around 50% of Gaza's energy, said Dr. Elai Rettig of Bar-Ilan University.
Before the Hamas attack, the typical Gaza resident only had access to four hours of uninterrupted electricity daily. As a result, Gaza residents put small, diesel-powered generators in their houses or installed solar panels on their rooftops, providing 25% of energy during the day.
"All of this means that the effect of cutting off the energy supply to Gaza is rather limited."
Israel said that diesel trucks from both Egypt and Israel would not enter Gaza. Therefore, the diesel will eventually run out.
"Hamas claimed that the diesel had already run out in its power plant. This is unlikely because they should have already had enough diesel to last at least a week or two," Rettig said. "If there is no diesel, Hamas took it all."
Eyal Pinko of Bar-Ilan University said, "Israel supplies only 10% of Gaza's water. So, even if we stop our share, they will still have water."
Psychological Factors and the Hamas War Strategy - Irwin J. Mansdorf, PhD (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Psychological warfare by Hamas (and Hizbullah) has relied heavily on portraying themselves as "victims."
This tactic is known as "Psychological Asymmetry," whereby a militarily weaker opponent can gain tactical advantage through psychological means.
This manipulative tactic includes embellishing and sometimes falsifying scenes of civilian damage and suffering and intentionally creating these scenes to generate opportunities to use them.
It is critical that the media, as well as other sources and NGOs, be aware of the tactic.
The images and descriptions of the initial Hamas attack that showed savage violence directed at civilians need to be the backdrop for providing an accurate perspective on future Israeli actions.
The writer is a clinical psychologist and a fellow at the Jerusalem Center, specializing in political psychology.
Why Hamas' Brutality Must Be Shown - Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post)
After airing a report on the death and destruction in Kfar Aza on Saturday, which included grisly pictures of gutted homes and reports of desecrated bodies, Channel 12 anchor Danny Kushmaro explained on Wednesday why those images were shown.
"We are showing these pictures to demonstrate what is happening here on the ground, in order to show how strong Israel's reaction needs to be."
"This is not to hurt morale, but rather to encourage the morale [and show] that there is a need to respond to the atrocities that took place here."
As the IDF continues to hit targets in Gaza, it is only a matter of time before calls arise for Israel to act "proportionally."
This is why grisly footage is unfortunately necessary - to remind the world of what Israel is up against and why it must use all its power to eradicate Hamas.
Answering the Critics: Israel Isn't a Colonial Power - Rich Lowry (New York Post)
An academic cottage industry is devoted to deeming Israel an exercise in "settler colonialism," but the smear can't survive contact with the slightest critical scrutiny.
The original Jewish settlers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries weren't sent by any mother country to set up enclaves for the honor and profit of the homeland. In fact, they were escaping countries that, in many cases, didn't want them.
It would have been perverse for Jews to have sought, say, to establish an outpost of Russia, given the atrocities routinely carried out against them on Russian soil.
They thought of their venture as a return to a place Jews had continuously inhabited for thousands of years, raising the question of how an indigenous people can be colonizers.
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Hamas Attacks Israel
Israel's Response to Hamas Attacks
Israel Mobilizes for War
Frequently Asked Questions about the 2023 War with Hamas - Lt.-Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
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