Gaza Fiasco: 700+ Israelis dead, 2300+ wounded, 130+ snatched

Oct 9, 2023 9:19 am | Ticker, Virtual Jerusalem

Less than a day after the surprise Hamas attack on Israel, more than 700 Israelis are confirmed dead and 300 more are in serious or critical condition. More than 130 IDF fighters – officers and soldiers, and civilians including women and children, have been kidnapped to Gaza, 30 held by Islamic Jihad and more than 100 by Hamas.

Many of the kidnapped soldiers are believed to be female, taken from front line bases and lookout positions. But most of the hostages are believed to be civilians, including children, women, and the elderly. Most of the invaders have been killed or repelled, but battles with terror squads continued overnight in six communities near the breached Gaza border. No hostages, however, remain held within Israel.

Sporadic rocket fire continues, including a heavy barrage on the city of Sderot on Sunday morning.

The dead include senior commanders, including the commander of the Nahal Brigade and a head of a Western Negev community.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu, in an address to the nation 16 hours after the invasion, declared that Israel was at war and threaten to exact a painful price on Hamas. Various cabinet ministers and officials say that Hamas will be devastated and that the situation in Gaza will be fundamentally better after the war.

The Israeli cabinet, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, approved a ground operation and the destruction of the Gaza leadership so that they can not again threaten the Jewish State for years.

The Israel Defense Forces engaged in a substantial mobilization of forces on Saturday night, initiating a call-up of tens of thousands reservists and prepping for war in response to one of the most severe terrorist attacks in the country’s history.

Hamas militants attacked as many as 22 locations in southern Israel, including towns up to 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the Gaza border. In several areas, these militants operated for hours, targeting civilians and military personnel while the IDF tried to organize a counter-response. Clashes continued into the night, and there were hostage situations in at least two towns.

Many victims being civilians targeted in their homes and on the streets, and a significant outdoor gathering was specifically targeted by the terrorists. Hospitals received 1,590 injured individuals, with 300 of them in severe condition and 19 in critical state.

Concurrently, rocket attacks persisted on southern and central Israel, injuring several as some rockets bypassed the Iron Dome defense system. This entire situation sparked nationwide outrage and raised questions about the evident lapses in intelligence, strategy, and policy that allowed for such a disaster.

Simultaneously, Israel initiated what was described as an unprecedented military response, targeting terrorist sites across Gaza. Gaza’s health officials reported at least 230 deaths and numerous injuries on their side. The IDF stated that they had deployed four divisions of reservists to the Gaza border, supplementing the 35 battalions already stationed there.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel was at war and discussed forming an emergency government with opposition leaders. In a night address, Netanyahu affirmed Israel’s commitment to utilizing the full strength of the IDF against Hamas and advised Gaza residents to evacuate. Labeling the day’s incidents as unparalleled in Israeli history, he assured such events would not reoccur, condemning Hamas for its brutality against civilians.

By nightfall, media reports indicated that some of the affected communities had been reclaimed by Israel, though conflicts persisted in others. Notable conflict zones included a police station in Sderot with an ongoing gunfight; a hostage situation in Ofakim; conflicts in Netivot; and attempts by Israeli forces to save hostages held by Hamas militants in Kibbutz Be’eri’s dining hall. By the early hours of Sunday, hostages in Sderot, Ofakim, and Be’eri had been rescued, with the responsible Hamas militants neutralized.

Throughout the day, widespread images depicted deceased civilians in southern regions. Military operations continued in the towns affected by the terrorist infiltration, assisting civilians trapped for extended durations. The IDF reported that they had eliminated hundreds of Palestinian militants in both southern Israel and Gaza in the ensuing conflict.