October 9, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Takes the Fight to Hamas

October 9, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Takes the Fight to Hamas

Latest Developments

Israel said on October 9 it was drafting a record number of military reservists to take the fight to Hamas. Though Palestinian gun attacks within Israeli territory waned, the Iranian-backed terrorist faction kept up the pressure with new rocket salvoes against Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Ben Gurion Airport. Preliminary media reports indicated that some rockets had penetrated Israeli air defenses, but spokespeople for Ben Gurion said the airport had not been hit.

As the extent of the carnage from two days of marauding by Palestinian gunmen in Israeli border villages and towns became clearer, authorities put the death toll at 700, including at least 73 military personnel. Hundreds of Palestinian terrorists were killed by Israeli counter-fire, including some withdrawing to Gaza after carrying out massacres, abductions, and plunder.

Expert Analysis

“While Israel appears to have re-established control over its beleaguered southern border, the fighting is only beginning. A massive mobilization of reservists portends tough fighting ahead, including a possible ground offensive into Gaza itself. Right now, Israel has wall-to-wall bipartisan support in Washington from President Biden to Congress. What Israel needs now is the time, space, and unwavering U.S. political and military support to do what it needs to do to respond to this unprecedented attack on its citizens.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Israel is on war footing, with the focus squarely on Hamas. But the IDF will need to be careful about overcommitting resources in the south. Hezbollah, Iran’s most lethal proxy, continues to threaten war from Lebanon to Israel’s north. A two-front fight is still very much a possibility.” — Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research

“The reality Israelis were familiar with 48 hours ago is gone. There is no going back to the status quo ante. A colossal intelligence and readiness failure is clear. A time for recriminations will come. Right now, Israel is united, and laser focused on the response to this attack, which will not look like anything we’ve seen before but will reflect the new reality. The priority — above all else — is Israel’s responsibility to do what is necessary to secure its population.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

Dozens of Captives

Dozens of captives had been taken into Gaza, according to Israeli statements. Video circulated on social media suggested these included elderly women, toddlers, and foreign farm hands. Hamas did not publish a tally of how many people it was holding, while Islamic Jihad said it had over 30 hostages.

Total Blockade

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced a “total blockade” on Gaza, including a halt to the delivery of food and fuel. “We are battling barbarians, and we are conducting ourselves accordingly,” he said in a statement.

That battle appears to include a planned Gaza ground invasion. Israel’s military said 300,000 reservists had been called up since October 7, a record number in the country’s history. “We are going on the offensive,” chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said.

Attacks on Israel Part of Iran’s Ring of Fire Strategy,” FDD Flash Brief

Iran Exports Crimes Against Humanity to Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Takes Israelis and Foreign Nationals Hostage,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel at War as Death Toll Exceeds 600,” by Mark Dubowitz


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