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Israel vs Hamas: One Week in and Still at War – Lesson

A lot has happened since the October 7 surprise attack.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, October 7, Palestinian terror group Hamas launched a massive surprise attack against Israel. The loss of life was unlike any previously suffered by terrorist attacks, and some say more Jews died in this latest conflict than any other time since the Holocaust. Israel’s response was immediate and harsh: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war. But a lot has changed in the week since this started.

Hamas Attacks, Israel Responds

The Palestinian militant group Hamas launched its massive surprise land, sea, and air attack on Israel early Saturday morning, starting around 6 a.m. local time – for American readers, that’s anywhere from 8 p.m. Friday night Pacific Time to 11 p.m. Eastern. The early morning attack included a bombardment by about 5,000 rockets and roaming groups of militants in Israel taking hostages – including some Americans and Brits who were in Israel at the time.

Hamas released a video accusing Israel of desecrating the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and the head of Hamas’ military wing called on all Palestinians to fight. Israel’s security ministry declared a state of civil emergency, and Prime Minister Netanyahu declared war and called up thousands of reservists for combat duty. “The enemy will pay a price it has never known before,” he declared. With both sides escalating the conflict, the war grew quickly.

Fighting the Funding of Terror

news and current events bannerThe initial attack was so big and so well coordinated that many suspect there were outside actors involved. Iran has long been suspected of funding Hamas and other terror organizations around the world, and a lot of people say Iran helped Hamas launch this attack as well.

The Biden administration also made the connection between Iran and Hamas – even if it took nearly a week. The president denounced Iran’s support of terror groups in a speech, and on Thursday, October 12, a Washington, DC, newspaper reported that the administration and the government of Qatar were working together to block a $6 billion ransom payment to Iran in return for freeing illegally captured American hostages. The controversial payment had already upset many who feared it would, in some way, just go to fund more terror attacks. Now, however, the payment has been put on hold, and thus can’t be used to further support Hamas in its fight against Israel.

Behind the Scenes Actors?

But Iran isn’t the only behind-the-scenes actor. Shortly after Israel declared war, another terror group, Hezbollah, started launching rockets into Israel from Lebanon, causing the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) to fight a war on two fronts, both south and north. Hamas, Hezbollah, Lebanon, Iran … how long have they been involved, and how many others might join them?

Then there’s the war between Russia and Ukraine and the fact that China wants to conquer Taiwan. The US isn’t directly involved in any of these wars or threats of war, but we are indirectly involved. As allies, the US has committed to defend Taiwan if China attacks. We’ve been sending money and weapons to Ukraine to help in the fight against Russia. Both Russia and China have been working together to get around economic sanctions imposed by the US. Russia has a history of backing Iran. Could either Russia or even China stand behind Iran’s backing of Hamas? This is mere speculation – but it’s speculation that has a lot of people worried about the threat of World War III.

The Battle Goes On

For right now, at least, the war between Israel and Hamas doesn’t seem to be related to either of the other threats in Europe and the Pacific. In the last week, more than 6,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel since the surprise attack was launched, the Israeli Defense Force reports, and it is estimated that more than 2,800 Palestinians and Israelis have been killed in the fighting.

The IDF called for the evacuation of all civilians from Gaza City Friday morning, October 13, asking the UN to help coordinate. Hamas, however, has tried to prevent anyone from leaving. “There are civilians here who are not our enemy and we do not want to target them. We are asking them to evacuate so we will be able to continue to strike military targets belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip,” Jonathon Conricus said behalf of Israel’s military. Even with Hamas blocking evacuations, however, Israel continues to advance. IDF ground forces entered Gaza on the 13th.

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