November 1, 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:

Has Yemen Declared War on Israel? (Mehr News-Iran-Odessa Journal-Ukraine)
    Gen. Yahya Saree, spokesman for the Yemeni armed forces, said Tuesday: "We launched a large number of ballistic and cruise missiles and a large number of drones at various targets of the Zionist enemy....This operation is the third operation."
    Saree also noted that the strikes will continue until the Israel Defense Forces cease operations in Gaza.

    See also Israel Intercepts another Rocket from Yemen on Tuesday - Tzvi Joffre (Jerusalem Post)
    The IDF intercepted another aerial threat over the Red Sea near Eilat on Tuesday night that was launched from Yemen.
    When asked if the IDF intended to respond to the attacks by the Houthis in Yemen, IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari said, "the wise thing isn't speaking to media, the wise thing is speaking with actions and protecting the security interests of Israel and to do so in the necessary time and place."
    "There are many elements in the region working on behalf of Iran, such as the Houthis, who are trying to challenge us and divert us from the war in Gaza. We stay focused. We are focused on the war in Gaza."
    Israeli missile boats were deployed in the Red Sea on Wednesday following long-range missile and drone attacks claimed by Yemen's Houthis.

How the U.S. Should Handle Missiles from Yemen - Jonathan Schanzer (Commentary)
    The Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen has been launching missiles and drones to strike Israel.
    Back in 2021, the Biden White House de-listed the Houthis from the sanctions list against terrorist groups.
    This group has launched more than 1,000 attacks against Saudi Arabia in recent years.
    The re-listing of the Houthis would send an unequivocal message to the Iranians and the wider Middle East.
    The Israelis are not likely to respond directly to these attacks. Their goal is to focus on dismantling Hamas before turning their sights on other foes.
    But don't discount Israeli actions in Yemen at a later date.
    The writer is senior vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

IDF Tactics in the Gaza Ground Offensive - Yonah Jeremy Bob (Jerusalem Post)
    The IDF has put extensive censorship on what can be reported about its military tactics in Gaza.
    Hamas is used to having access to Israeli open sources for real-time intelligence on IDF troop movements.
    The censorship has been effective and has led to Hamas mispositioning its forces in trying to guess where the IDF will show up next.
    Artillery and tanks are using a variety of smoke-style diversions to make it difficult for Hamas forces to get clear shots at IDF forces when they enter new areas.
    D9 bulldozers are being used to clear out boobytraps and mines before soldiers enter various areas.
    Drones are being used extensively in conjunction with land forces to strike Hamas forces, which come out to engage IDF forces.
    This is an advantage over airstrikes alone, which do not force Hamas forces out of their hideouts.
    The support of artillery and tanks allows much more immediate destruction of hiding places anytime Hamas forces reveal themselves with gunfire.

Video: Israeli First Responder Describes Baby Burnt in Oven on Oct. 7 - Ben Sales (JTA)
    Asher Moskowitz, a volunteer first responder with the United Hatzalah, describes the bodies that arrived at the identification center from Kibbutz Kfar Aza.
    "They opened one of the body bags while I was still in the room and there was a baby. The body was really swollen with signs of being burned by a heating element."
    "After the terrorists murdered the parents, they took the baby and put him into the kitchen oven while the baby was still alive and turned on the oven."
    "It is impossible to deny what these savages did."

    See also Video: U.S. Secretary of State Blinken Describes Hamas Atrocities (X)
    Secretary of State Antony Blinken shared testimony of Hamas' atrocities with the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.

The Turkish Regime Supports Terrorism - Yoni Ben Menachem (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
    Israel's Foreign Minister Eli Cohen announced on October 29, 2023, that he has recalled Israel's diplomatic representatives in Turkey after President Erdogan's statements against Israel during the war against Hamas.
    The Turkish president has once again revealed his true face as an ardent supporter of the terrorist organization Hamas.
    Erdogan heads the Justice and Development Party, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, Hamas' parent movement.
    In recent days, there have been massive demonstrations in Turkey in support of Hamas. Videos circulating on social networks show Turks stepping on the Israeli flag. The Israeli embassy in Ankara has been evacuated.
    For more than ten years, Erdogan has steadfastly refused to close the offices of Hamas in Istanbul that direct terrorist actions against Israel.
    Israel and Turkey announced last year a full normalization of their relations and the return of ambassadors after 15 years of murky relations. President Erdogan was scheduled to visit Israel for the first time since 2005.
    The time has come for Israel to sober up. President Erdogan is a lost cause, and he will not change.

Israel at War: Daily Zoom Briefing
by Jerusalem Center Experts
View Daily Briefing at 4:00 p.m. (Israel), 10:00 a.m. (EST)
    View recent briefings

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Israeli Troops Battle into Gaza - Hiba Yazbek
    Israeli troops and tanks fought their way deeper into northern Gaza on Tuesday, drawing closer to Gaza City. An Israeli airstrike killed Ibrahim Biari, a Hamas commander who was a key plotter of the Oct. 7 assault on Israel. IDF spokesman Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus said Biari was actively directing attacks against Israeli targets from a "vast underground tunnel complex." "Dozens" of Hamas combatants were killed along with him when the underground complex imploded.
        Photos, satellite images and videos showed formations of Israeli troops and armored vehicles approaching Gaza City and nearby population centers from the north, east and south. Israeli and Western officials say that Hamas has fighters, command centers and weapons caches both among the civilian centers of the city and in a vast network of underground tunnels and chambers beneath the city.
        The U.S. has been emphatic in its support for Israel, and has stood apart from much of the world in not criticizing Israel's conduct of the war. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday that a cease-fire in Gaza was off the table for now because that would give Hamas a chance to regroup "and potentially repeat what it did" and "that's not tolerable."  (New York Times)
        See also IDF Airstrike Targets Senior Hamas Commander - Yoav Zitun
    Ibrahim Biari, the commander of Hamas' Jabalya Battalion who was killed in an airstrike on Tuesday, was responsible for directing rocket fire at Israel and advancing numerous attacks against the IDF over the last two decades. Biari was also responsible for sending the terrorists who carried out the 2004 terrorist attack in Ashdod Port in which 13 Israelis were murdered.
        "The strike damaged Hamas' command and control in the area, as well as its ability to direct military activity against IDF soldiers," the IDF said. Minutes before the bombing, a warning was sent to the occupants of the building to get out. (Ynet News)
        See also Israeli Airstrike Collapsed Tunnels in Gaza
    Jabalya residents are claiming that several minutes after an Israeli airstrike, the ground around them began to collapse, leading to massive casualties, many of whom fell into sinkholes along with structural frames of the apartment buildings. The Air Force had been targeting Hamas tunnels built under the neighborhood.
        Civil defense teams in Jabalya are warning residents to leave the area of the strike due to the possibility of secondary explosions due to munitions stored in the area. (Times of Israel-X)
        See also Video: Inside Gaza's Tunnel Network
    Hamas terror groups gave access to a Russia Today journalist to report on the tunnel network beneath Gaza. (X)
  • American Commandos Are in Israel Helping to Locate Hostages, Pentagon Says - Eric Schmitt
    "We're actively helping the Israelis to do a number of things," Assistant Secretary of Defense Christopher P. Maier said Tuesday. A main task was to help Israel "identify hostages, including American hostages. It's really our responsibility to do so." U.S. officials say the Defense Department has dispatched several dozen commandos in recent days, in addition to a small team that was in Israel on Oct. 7 conducting previously scheduled training.
        The U.S. Special Operations forces are not assigned any combatant roles in Israel, but they are talking through with their Israeli counterparts "what is going to be a very complex fight going forward" in Gaza, Maier said. (New York Times)
  • British Deputy Prime Minister Says Israel Fighting "a Just War" and Rejects Ceasefire Calls - Adam Forrest
    British Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden has said Israel is fighting "a just war" in Gaza as he rejected calls for a ceasefire in the conflict. The cabinet minister said Israel was justified in trying to "eliminate" the terror group Hamas after it launched a devastating attack which killed 1,400 Israelis.
        Asked if Israeli airstrikes on Gaza are morally justified, Dowden told BBC Radio 4: "I do believe this is a just war Israel is seeking to prosecute against cold-blooded terrorists who have murdered its citizens. We would do the same thing in this country if it happened to us. Israel has set out two clear aims for this conflict which the United Kingdom agrees with - which is to eliminate the Hamas threat and to release those [Israeli] hostages."
        "Hamas is a terrorist organization that has murdered in cold blood over 1,000 innocent Israeli men, women and children, and now seeks to hide amongst the civilian population....We continue to urge the Israeli government to abide by international law. I believe that the Israeli government is continuing to do so."  (Independent-UK)
  • FBI Director Warns about Threats to Americans from Those Inspired by Hamas Attack on Israel - Lindsay Whitehurst
    FBI Director Christopher Wray warned the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday that Hamas' rampage inside Israel could inspire violence in the U.S. "We assess that the actions of Hamas and its allies will serve as an inspiration the likes of which we haven't seen since ISIS launched its so-called caliphate years ago." Law enforcement is concerned about the potential of attacks by individuals or small groups, as occurred during the rise of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq a decade ago.
        Wray added that Jewish people make up 2.4% of the U.S. population but are the targets of 60% of religious-based hate crimes. "That should be jarring to everyone," he said. (AP-Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • IDF Fighting Deep in Urban Areas in Northern Gaza - Amos Harel
    Four days after the start of the ground maneuver, large IDF infantry and armored forces are engaged in tough, persistent fighting deep in urban areas which had been devastated in preliminary air force bombings. There are apparently hundreds of Hamas fighters dead. (Ha'aretz)
  • 9 IDF Soldiers Killed in Northern Gaza - Emanuel Fabian
    7 IDF soldiers from the Givati Brigade were killed on Tuesday after an armored vehicle they were in was hit by an anti-tank missile fired by Hamas. Another four soldiers were wounded. 2 soldiers from the 7th Armored Brigade were killed after their tank drove over an explosive device. Another two soldiers were seriously hurt. (Times of Israel)
  • 2 IDF Soldiers Killed amid Heavy Fighting in Gaza - Lior Ben Ari
    Two IDF soldiers were killed and two others were seriously wounded in Gaza on Tuesday when an RPG missile hit the building where the soldiers were located. IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari said Tuesday, "Over the course of integrated and coordinated air and ground strikes, terrorists and hundreds of targets of the murderous Hamas terrorist organization were and continue to be struck." Soldiers confronted anti-tank missile squads and machine gun fire that were eliminated. Troops also coordinated with the Air Force for immediate strikes on strategic targets.
        The army is intensifying its operations, deploying additional combat brigades toward Gaza City. The IDF is proceeding with caution, fully aware that every alley, street, and building could potentially be booby-trapped. Therefore, foot patrols are only conducted after thorough clearance operations involving controlled explosions.
        The advance of the armored and infantry forces is being carried out under cover of heavy artillery and aerial fire. Dozens of fighter jets and armed drones are available within a few minutes for an integrated attack. The navy's missile ships are providing cover fire for the ground forces and the artillery corps is launching rockets at targets beyond the troops. (Ynet News)
  • IDF Takes Over Hamas Post in Gaza - Gadi Zaig
    IDF troops took control over a Hamas military post in western Jabalya in northern Gaza on Tuesday. Some 50 terrorists were eliminated by Israeli forces. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Israel's Forensic Workers Struggle to Put Names to the Dead - Kevin Sieff
    More than three weeks after Hamas' attack on Israel, human remains are being retrieved daily by Israeli soldiers during operations in Gaza. Some appear to have been dropped by militants as they fled across the border fence; others seem to have fallen from pickup trucks. Search-and-rescue teams are combing the fields, homes and military barracks that were targeted. By now they're rarely intact, or are burned beyond recognition.
        "Like coal" is how Chen Kugel, director of the national forensic center, described many of the bodies he is now seeing. Forensic pathologists have been unable to identify about 200 bodies because they were mutilated or incinerated. Many victims were so badly burned that extracting DNA from their bodies is impossible. In other cases, entire families were murdered, making it difficult to find survivors to claim the dead. On one army base, 15 service members sharing a room were incinerated.
        Forensic experts wrote the official cause of death in their case files, which enumerated cases of torture and execution. "Laceration of the throat," said one. "Gunshot wound through the cheek from 3 to 5 centimeters," said another. There was a decapitated 10-year-old.
        Last week, Simcha Graiman, a worker with Zaka, a volunteer Israeli rescue organization, scraped a scorched home in Kibbutz Holit for ashes. After some time, he found a tooth. Using dental records, forensic workers were able to identify the victim. (Washington Post)
  • We Can't Let Hamas Kill Peace along with the Peacemakers - Haisam Hassanein
    Years ago I was the lone Egyptian-American studying at Tel Aviv University. One year ago when I visited Israel at the invitation of Sharaka, an NGO that promotes peace and normalization among young people in the Middle East, I met Ofir Libstein, Chairman of the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council. Ofir proudly shared his vision for helping Palestinians in neighboring Gaza obtain permits to work in agriculture and in a new industrial zone in his kibbutz, Kfar Aza. "It is good for people-to-people peace," I remembering him saying. Ofir, 50, and his son, Nitzan, 19, were cut down on Oct. 7 by Hamas terrorists who swarmed his kibbutz.
        In the wake of the Oct. 7 attack and as Hamas rockets continue to rain down, my Israeli friends - many of whom were peace activists - have abandoned their towns and kibbutzim for safer locations. Others are dead or wounded, lost loved ones or are waiting for Hamas to release family members. We cannot let Hamas kill peace along with the peacemakers.
        The writer is an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (New York Post)

  • Antisemitism

  • Anti-Semitism Poisons America - Walter Russell Mead
    As students and professors at elite universities across the U.S. exulted at the news of mass murder and torture of Israeli Jews by Hamas terrorists, Jewish students were warned to take precautions on campus. That is a problem, and not only for American Jews. The beliefs that have made the U.S. a uniquely hospitable home for Jewish citizens are essential to national cohesion and strength.
        For America to work, many different religious and ethnic identities must coexist under a common commitment to constitutional politics and the rule of law. America's vital center is defined by the conviction that people of different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds together can build a peaceful and prosperous society in which all can follow their consciences while upholding the framework of our common life.
        Jew-hatred is both a disabling mental virus and a social blight. Societies dominated by irrational hatreds and conspiracy theories are rarely well-governed. Where Jews are hunted in the streets, no one's liberty or property will long be secure. A society whose educated elite has contracted a destructive mind virus in our citadels of learning will neither govern itself well nor have much to contribute to the world.
        The writer, a fellow at the Hudson Institute, is Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College. (Wall Street Journal)
  • British Society Will Pay a Terrible Price for Indulging Extremism - Nick Timothy
    The most despicable thing about the rolling anti-Israel protests in London is that they first began not in response to Israeli military action, but to the atrocities committed by Hamas on Oct. 7. For three consecutive weekends now, around 100,000 people have lined the streets of London to show their opposition to Israel.
        Lord Austin, who witnessed Saturday's march, noted there were "lots of signs calling for Israel to be eradicated. [But I] didn't see any calling for peace, a two-state solution, Gaza to be freed from Hamas or hostages to be released." For this is about hatred, not peace. Many of those attending the protests are unembarrassed about supporting the rape and murder of Israeli civilians.
        The desire to convince ourselves that this is all about a quarrel in a far away country might be understandable, but it is profoundly wrong. While the hatred for now is targeted at Jews, it is also meant for the rest of us. TV channels that broadcast hatred must be shut. Charities that espouse extremist beliefs should be closed down. Foreigners who spread Islamist ideology should be deported. (Telegraph-UK)

The Global War on the Jews - Editorial (Wall Street Journal)
  • Jews are under attack not only in Israel and not only by Hamas. The weeks since the barbaric Oct. 7 Hamas invasion of Israel have witnessed physical assaults on Jews the world over, including in the U.S. and Europe.
  • The Islamist group and its Western enablers are pursuing or justifying a genocidal war against Jews, not merely a territorial dispute with Israel.
  • This weekend hundreds of rioters in Dagestan, Russia, stormed an airport in search of Jewish travelers. Germany has witnessed a spate of anti-Semitic incidents. Two Jewish schools in London closed for a period over safety concerns. A crowd in Sydney, Australia, chanted "gas the Jews" after the Hamas attack.
  • Americans like to believe such things couldn't happen in the U.S. They have. The Anti-Defamation League reported a 388% increase in anti-Semitic incidents from Oct. 7-23 compared with the same period a year ago. The ADL tally counts 109 anti-Israel rallies that featured support for Hamas or violence against Jews in Israel.
  • The West spent the decades after the civilizational catastrophe of the Holocaust vowing never again to allow itself to slide into such barbarism. What we see now in the attacks on Jews is how that slide began.
  • Before there was a Chancellor Hitler in 1933, there were roving bands of Brownshirts inflicting political and anti-Semitic violence on the streets of Germany. They too often went unchecked by police, prosecutors and politicians who didn't understand the menace.
  • A Western society that can't or won't muster the will to defend its Jewish neighbors and fellow citizens won't be able to defend itself.

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