October 7, 2023 | Flash Brief

Iran-backed Hamas Brutally Attacks Israel

October 7, 2023 | Flash Brief

Iran-backed Hamas Brutally Attacks Israel

Latest Analysis

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was “at war” on Saturday as Israelis awoke to a multi-front attack on Israel’s southern border. Dozens of Hamas terrorists infiltrated the border and invaded Israeli towns, going door to door killing Israelis and taking hostages back into Gaza to be held as bargaining chips. Simultaneously, terrorists fired thousands of rockets at Israel, with Hamas claiming to have launched 5,000 rockets. Several hours into the attack, residents of southern Israel were still barricaded in their homes waiting for Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reinforcements.

Expert Analysis

“Make no mistake: This is an Iran-supported war against Israel. The Israeli response must be overwhelming and aimed not just at Hamas but at the head of the snake inside Iran. The supreme leader has long sought to surround Israel with what he called a “ring of fire,” with terrorists and missiles that he would use at a time of his choosing to impose devastating costs on the Israeli homeland.” – Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“This unimaginable attack represents a major IDF intelligence failure. Scenes of terrified and bloodied Israelis, kidnapped women, and families held hostage in their homes at gunpoint have garnered statement of support from the international community. But this is just the beginning. Israel’s partners and allies must remain steadfast in their support as Israel responds to this assault and attempts to get their citizens back from Gaza.” – Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security

Widespread Conflict

According to reports, terrorists from Gaza infiltrated by land, air, and sea resulting in at least 150 Israelis killed, over a thousand wounded, and the IDF has confirmed reports of civilians and soldiers held hostage in Gaza. Gruesome scenes of abducted Israelis have been circulating widely on social media. The IDF ordered Israeli citizens within several miles of the Gaza border to shelter in place, while sirens sounded across central Israel. Israel responded with retaliatory air strikes within Gaza and Israel’s energy minister signed and order that would disconnect Gaza from Israel’s electricity grid.

Hamas Seeks to Expand War

Hamas military commander Mohammad Deif issued a statement calling on the “Islamic resistance” in neighboring countries and within Israel to join forces and “start marching towards Palestine now.” Saleh al-Arouri, Hamas leader based outside of Gaza who is responsible for Hamas’s West Bank operations, made similar calls for other Iran-backed militias in the region to unite against Israel. Iranian officials have praised the attack.

Currently, there are no reports of military confrontations on Israel’s northern borders, however there are reports of confrontation in Eastern Jerusalem. This conflict has the potential to expand into a multi-front conflagration and Israel has called additional troops to the northern border.

Hamas-Led Riots on Israel-Gaza Border Prompt IDF Counterattack,” FDD Flash Brief

Iran and its Network of Nineteen Terrorist Organizations on Israel’s Borders,” by Joe Truzman

Gaza Fence Bombing Backfires, Killing Five Palestinians,” FDD Flash Brief


Iran Iran Global Threat Network Israel Israel at War Palestinian Politics