October 22, 2023
Special Report
A project of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy

In-Depth Issues:

IDF: One in Five Gaza Rockets Misfires, Kills Palestinians - Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman (Jerusalem Post)
    One-fifth of the rockets fired by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have misfired in recent days, landing inside Gaza and killing civilians, IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said Saturday.
    This amounts to more than 550 rockets. "They are killing their own people," he said.
    Hagari said Israel is continuing to attack Hamas military targets in northern Gaza in preparation for a ground invasion.
    Israel planned to enter Gaza last week but delayed first due to weather and then at the request of the U.S. to first allow entry of humanitarian aid into southern Gaza.
    On Saturday, 20 trucks carrying medicine, food and other supplies entered Gaza.

Hamas Releases Two American Israelis, Family Says 10 Other Relatives Still in Gaza (Ynet News)
    On Friday, Hamas released American-Israelis Judith and Natalie Ra'anan after Qatari mediation.
    Or Sela, Judith Ra'anan's cousin, said 12 members of the family were abducted and taken to Gaza including young children.
    The family also lost two other members, Avshalom Haran and Eviatar Kipnis, who were murdered by Hamas.

    See also Holocaust-Style Selection of Jews on Full Display - Nechama Duek (Israel Hayom)
    How can it be that the U.S. did not demand the release first of all of the 9-month-old baby, the 3-year-old girl, and the 85-year-old Holocaust survivor?
    How can it be that the entire world isn't standing up as one and demanding the release of the children and the elderly?

Israel Strikes Syrian Airports to Block Weapons Sent from Iran and Iraq - Yoav Zitun (Ynet News)
    Israel on Sunday attacked airports in Damascus and Aleppo amid real concern that forces and precision weaponry from Iran and Iraq were set to arrive and be deployed in Syria and Lebanon.
    The coordinated attacks damaged runways and put both airports out of commission. A similar strike was carried out by Israel 10 days ago.

U.S., Other Countries Send Military Aid to Israel - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
    By Saturday, over 50 American cargo planes had landed in Israel carrying ammunition and spare parts.
    Many other countries are aiding Israel. Czechia sent Israel ceramic flack vests.

Israel Security Agency Creates Unit to Eliminate Perpetrators of Hamas Massacre - Amir Bohbot (Walla-Jerusalem Post)
    The Israel Security Agency has established a new unit dedicated to hunting down and eliminating every individual who played a role in the massacre in Israel's western Negev communities.
    It will target members of Hamas' Nukhba commando unit.

Jewish Giving to Israel Spikes after Hamas Atrocities - Ron Kampeas (JTA-Times of Israel)
    Jewish officials say the level and intensity of incoming cash for Israel since Oct. 7 is unprecedented since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
    Jewish Federations of North America chairwoman Julie Platt said that giving was the most immediate thing a Jew could do in the face of the helplessness they felt when confronted with images and accounts of Hamas terrorists murdering families in their homes and young adults at an outdoor party.

Why It's Obvious Iran Approved Hamas' Attack - Shay Khatiri (Wall Street Journal)
    Shortly after Hamas' assault on Israel, the Wall Street Journal, relying on Hamas sources, reported that the Islamic Republic of Iran had green-lit the Oct. 7 attack.
    U.S. government officials said they don't have evidence of Iran's involvement.
    But American intelligence agencies' lack of evidence isn't surprising, since they also failed to predict Hamas' attack.
    Those who understand the Islamic Republic's regime find it hard to believe that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei didn't give his consent.
    Iran primarily fights the U.S. and Israel through proxies. This falls within the portfolio of Brig.-Gen. Esmail Qaani, the Quds Force commander and a member of Khamenei's circle.
    After Khamenei gave the green light, Gen. Qaani and other officials, using the supreme leader's authority, instructed the rest of the regime to shuffle around money and materiel for Hamas.
    Gen. Qaani met with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad officials in April and June.
    Iran is likely to be the largest beneficiary of the Hamas attack.
    The regime expects Israel's national-security policy to reorient toward the Palestinians, relieving Tehran of military pressure in Syria and Iraq and over its nuclear program, while Israel tries to deal with Hamas, prevent a third intifada, and protect its northern border.
    The writer is a senior fellow at the Yorktown Institute.

Video: Gazans Apply Make-Up to Fool Gullible Media - Tom Gross (YouTube)
    Gaza has many real victims, but others apply make-up to fool gullible media and inflate casualty figures. Pallywood at work.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Sending Additional Air Defense Systems to Middle East - Idrees Ali
    The U.S. will send a THAAD system and additional Patriot air defense battalions to the Middle East in response to a spike in attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon said Saturday. The deployments come two years after the U.S. withdrew air defense systems from the Middle East, citing a reduction in tensions with Iran. (Reuters)
  • Operation Air Train Airlifts 17 Ambulances to Israel - Ben Cohen
    Yoav Halper runs a company that imports emergency vehicles to Israel, which usually means shipping ambulances from the U.S. by ocean freighter. But Magen David Adom, Israel's national ambulance and paramedic organization, told him they needed as many ambulances as they could get as fast as they could get them. Instead of a journey that normally lasts several months, 17 ambulances donated by Americans were airlifted to Israel on four different cargo flights in less than a week.
        American Friends of Magen David Adom typically sends about 75 ambulances a year. Donors have sponsored 148 in the two weeks since the conflict began. They're Chevrolet vans built by GM in Wentzville, Mo. and then sent to the Medix Specialty Vehicles facility in Elkhart, Ind., where the empty vehicle is stuffed with cabinets for equipment and medicine, an oxygen system, a communications center, heating, air conditioning, emergency lighting and sirens. (Wall Street Journal)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israeli Soldier Killed by Missile from Lebanon - Emanuel Fabian
    IDF Staff Sgt. (res.) Omer Balva, 22, a dual Israeli-American citizen, flew from the U.S. to report for duty and was killed Friday in an anti-tank missile attack along the border with Lebanon. Balva grew up in Rockville, Maryland, where he went to the Charles E. Smith Jewish day school.
        The IDF said it foiled plans by six terror cells in southern Lebanon on Friday, carrying out drone strikes and sniper fire against squads preparing missile attacks, gunmen, and other members of Hizbullah identified near the border. (Times of Israel)
  • Israel Evacuates More Communities along Northern Border amid Hizbullah Threat
    On Sunday, Israel evacuated 14 additional communities near the northern border in response to increasing threats by Hizbullah, which has been carrying out attacks using anti-tank missiles, rockets, mortars, and small arms fire in the last two weeks. Israel evacuated 28 communities on Oct. 16 and on Oct. 19 announced the evacuation of the city of Kiryat Shmona. These communities include Arab al-Aramshe, a Bedouin community, and Ghajar, an Alawite community. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Defense Minister Outlines Israel's Objectives in the War Against Hamas - Emanuel Fabian
    Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Friday laid out Israel's objectives in its war against Hamas in Gaza at a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "We are in the first phase, in which a military campaign is taking place with [airstrikes] and later with a [ground] maneuver with the purpose of destroying operatives and damaging infrastructure in order to defeat and destroy Hamas," Gallant said.
        The second phase will be continued fighting but at a lower intensity as troops work to "eliminate pockets of resistance. The third step will be the creation of a new security regime in Gaza, the removal of Israel's responsibility for day-to-day life in Gaza, and the creation of a new security reality for the citizens of Israel and the residents of the [area surrounding Gaza]."  (Times of Israel)
  • Israel Air Force Continues Strikes on Northern Gaza - Yaniv Kubovich
    The Israel Air Force struck dozens of high-rise buildings in northern Gaza used by Hamas as observation points and sniping positions in preparation for a ground operation, the IDF said Saturday. IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said, "Every building we strike in Gaza is a building from which Hamas operates." Raids are continuing in Gaza in the area near the border with the aim of locating bodies of Israelis designated as missing. (Ha'aretz)
  • IDF Airstrike Hits Terror Cell at Jenin Mosque Planning "Imminent Attack" - Emanuel Fabian
    The Israel Air Force hit a tunnel used by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad at the al-Ansari mosque in the West Bank city of Jenin on Sunday. The terror operatives were using the mosque as a base to plan and carry out attacks. The PA said two people were killed and several others were injured in the airstrike. IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Sunday that the terror cell was planning a "murderous terror attack inside Israel" and was a "ticking time bomb."  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    Hamas Attacks Israel

  • Hamas Torture Confirmed at Israel's Forensics Institute - Aaron Poris
    At Israel's National Center of Forensic Medicine (Abu Kabir) in Tel Aviv, forensic pathologists, including Israeli staffers as well as volunteers from abroad, were visibly disturbed by the evidence before them. Many broke into tears throughout the day. The forensics team showed images from their investigations. Perhaps the most disturbing image was a completely charred mass of flesh. Only after a CT scan could experts see what it was: two spinal cords - one belonging to an adult, one to someone young - a parent and child bound together by metal wires in a final embrace before being set alight.
        Dr. Chen Kugel, the head of Abu Kabir, said, "The proportion of bodies we've received who are charred is high. Many have gunshot wounds in their hands, showing they put their hands up to their faces in defense. Many were burned alive in their homes....We know they were burned alive because there is soot in their trachea, their throats - meaning they were still breathing when set on fire." Kugel explained that the age range of the victims spans from 3 months to 80 or 90 years old. Many bodies, including those of babies, are without heads.
        Dr. Nurit Bublil, head of Abu Kabir's DNA laboratory, said, "This was not combat....[Hamas] celebrated burning houses with civilians inside who didn't do anything to them. They enjoyed grabbing an 18-year-old girl from a party, a festival, dragging her to a car, and taking her to Gaza. And who knows what happened [to her] in between."  (Media Line-Jerusalem Post)
  • A Systematic Massacre at Kibbutz Nir Oz - Nir Hasson
    The kindergarten at Kibbutz Nir Oz, like many of the kibbutz's homes, was torched during the massacre of Oct. 7. There were four kibbutzim that sustained a horrible blow, each with dozens or more killed: Kfar Aza, Be'eri, Nahal Oz, and Nir Oz. One of the volunteers who entered the kibbutz immediately following the massacre said there were hardly any bodies of terrorists found in this small, remote kibbutz right by the border.
        The picture emerging from the testimonies and the look of the kibbutz is one of systematic extermination of its residents by dozens of armed militants. The survivors' accounts paint a consistent pattern: Murder of anyone encountered, breaking into homes, attempting to break into safe rooms and shelters. In cases where the residents managed to prevent the opening of the safe room door, the terrorists torched the homes with the occupants inside, forcing the residents into a horrible choice - risk suffocation with their families in the shelters or walk out into the killers' arms.
        The terrorists operated in the kibbutz unimpeded for long hours. It seems that many of the terrorists simply left the kibbutz and returned to Gaza because there was no one left to murder. The kibbutz's survivors estimated this week that between a quarter and a third of the kibbutz's 350 residents were killed or kidnapped. (Ha'aretz)
  • A Handful of Israeli Officers Saved 90 New Recruits from Hamas Terrorists - Hilo Glazer
    Six commanding officers, seven other army personnel, and one new recruit prevented Hamas' takeover of the Zikim training base on Oct. 7. These 14 fighters of the IDF Home Front Command's co-ed search and rescue brigade repelled 50 well-armed terrorists while under overwhelming fire, pulling out their fallen comrades and taking their places. Six officers and one recruit were killed. More than 90 new recruits who had been drafted just two months earlier, as well as 30 administrative staffers and civilians, were unharmed. (Ha'aretz)
  • Border Police Saved Many from Hamas Slaughter - Meir Turgeman
    Four Border Police officers, acting without any orders, rushed to the scene of the music festival attacked by Hamas near Re'im. Superintendent Shifra Buchris, 45, a mother of ten, serves as commander of the reconnaissance unit in the Border Police Southern Brigade. Accompanied by her deputy, Chief Inspector Ram Amrani, Sgt. First Class Baruch Avischal, and Sergeant Major Yoniv Cohen Dahar, they courageously drove in two private, non-armored vehicles toward the area under attack. Despite constant gunfire, they worked for 12 hours to evacuate the wounded and stranded, to save as many people as possible.
        "I would have wanted to eliminate the terrorists because I am a fighter at heart," said Buchris, "but within that brutal battleground, we collectively decided that our foremost priority was to save the lives of the wounded."
        "We found young people who were feigning death, and that clever decision ultimately saved their lives. We swiftly rescued them, loading as many as we could into two vehicles, even utilizing the trunk space, and raced towards the Urim intersection, where the ambulance point was located. We operated on autopilot, determined not to allow even the bodies, including those of the policemen whom we personally knew, to impede or delay us."
        Chief Inspector Amrani recounted: "The sight of hundreds of dead young men with a bullet in their foreheads was proof of the terrorists' killing. The mind cannot comprehend the piles of corpses." Throughout this entire operation, they remained a moving target for the terrorists, with bullets whizzing overhead constantly. (Ynet News)

  • Israel's Response to Hamas Attacks

  • The Only Choice Israel Has - Meir Ben Shabbat
    On Oct. 7, the Holocaust survivors' state was attacked by the new Nazis. Their heinous plan and cruelty were on full display for the whole world to see. In this war, Israel has no choice. It must act as the Allies did in their war against the Nazis.
        It's time to dispel the myth that "the Gaza population is a victim of Hamas." True, not everyone there supports Hamas. But the level of support for it undermines the claim that "Hamas does not represent the Palestinians." Opinion polls over the years have indicated its popularity among the residents of Gaza.
        The circumstances under which Israel entered the war exempt it from dealing with what will happen in Gaza after the war. The reason for this is simple: Israel has no other choice. It must respond with overwhelming force. Any other response could potentially leave it under existential threat.
        The writer, head of the Misgav Institute for National Security & Zionist Strategy in Jerusalem, served as Israel's national security advisor and head of the National Security Council. (Israel Hayom)

  • World Responses to Hamas Attacks

  • The Attack on Israel by the Monsters of Hamas - Jordan Peterson
    I am in serious trouble this week because I argued that the authorities in Israel should give the terrorists who invaded their land, torturing and killing their citizens, the hell they most truly deserve. How could I say such a thing while simultaneously maintaining my desire for a rapprochement between the peoples of the Abrahamic tradition?
        The attack on Israel by the monsters of Hamas occurred not because Muslims and Jews are destined, by religious necessity, to be at each other's throats, but because Hamas' biggest supporters in Iran - a country run by thugs, and deemed so even by its own people - had become concerned that the rulers of Saudi Arabia would continue in their laudable attempts to formulate a productive peace with Israel.
        There are many Muslims willing to believe conspiratorial narratives spread on social media about Jewish people. Many of these narratives, if one looks at their source, are deliberately spread by the brutal Iranian regime. I might inquire of the Muslims who accept such stories: Is Iran your idea of a worthy Islamic state? The very Iran whose citizens, Muslims all, have revolted against their psychopathic masters?
        I plead with those of you reading this in the Muslim world: I am pro-Muslim, but anti the thuggish behavior we have seen in the past week. And if you are a true follower of Allah, that is the decision that is incumbent upon you, in equal measure. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Genocidal Imaginations: The Barbarians Are Within the Gates. - Theodore Dalrymple
    The sight of thousands of young people in London celebrating the massacres that Hamas committed in Israel unsurprisingly made many people's blood run cold. The demonstrators rejoiced not despite the brutality of what was done but because of it. It was the brutality and sadism that made the difference and was the cause of so much pleasure and joy.
        A friend who has spent many years talking to Arabic-speaking supporters of the Palestinian cause in Britain (he is a professional translator) told me that he was not in the least surprised by the celebrations. Annihilation of a population, not victory over a state, was their dreamed-of solution.
        The latest example of the attraction of mass genocidal cruelty, not merely to the perpetrators but to the hearts and minds of large numbers of people, is more than usually chilling. The barbarians are within the gates.
        The writer is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. (City Journal)
        See also Islamist Rally in London Calls for "Muslim Armies" to Invade Israel (Jerusalem Post)

The IDF Prepares to Enter Hamastan - David Horovitz (Times of Israel)
  • Much of the international community is currently arguing obscenely about whether the Hamas monsters who two weeks ago slaughtered, beheaded, burned, raped and abducted our citizens, inside our homes and communities, inside our sovereign land, should be considered "terrorists."
  • Much of the international community is choosing to give credence to an evidence-free Hamas claim that Israel bombed a Gaza hospital, over the IDF's fact-based conclusion that a misfired Islamic Jihad missile was to blame.
  • But inside Israel, we are preoccupied with the army's imminent mission to send ground forces into Gaza to try to ensure Hamas can never harm us again.
  • Rocket fire from Gaza is incessant. Every day brings further unwatchable documentation of the horrors Hamas perpetrated against our children, parents and grandparents. Every day brings more funerals.
  • Everybody here knows not only one or more of the 1,400 Israelis who were massacred or abducted by Hamas, but also one or more of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers in our standing army and our called-up reserves. We know this war will take time and involve still more terrible loss.
  • We know that our soldiers are brave and fine and motivated. Morale is high. They know that the country is behind them. They are the country. The fate of Israel is in their hands.
  • We all know that the mission must succeed because we have to be able to live in security in our small patch of land. As President Biden noted, we know what happens to Jews everywhere without an Israel.

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