Hamas launched the most coordinated attack against Israel in the terror group’s history on Friday. Thousands of rockets flew into cities across Israel. Hamas sent terrorists on paragliders into nearby towns and villages such as Sderot and Ashkelon who have slaughtered Israeli civilians.
Israel began retaliating by bombing Gaza on Saturday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his country in a video statement, ““Citizens of Israel, we are at war – not in an operation, not in rounds – at war.”
Hamas Leader: ‘We have decided to put an end to all this’
Muhammad al-Deif, commander of Hamas’s Qassam Brigades, announced the offensive he called “Al-Aqsa Flood,” whose goal is to end the State of Israel.
“In light of these ongoing crimes against our people and our people, in light of the occupation and its denial of international laws and resolutions, and in light of the American and Western support and international silence,” al-Deif said in a statement posted on Hamas’s Arabic language website. “We have decided to put an end to all this, with God’s help, so that the enemy understands that the time in which he is going to roam without an accountant has ended, we announce the start of the Al-Aqsa flood operation, and we announce that the first strike, which targeted enemy sites, airports, and military fortifications, has exceeded 5,000 rockets and missiles.”
Al-Deif continued, “O masses of our people, our nation and the free people of the world, today the wrath of Al-Aqsa, the anger of our people, the anger of our nation, the anger of the free people of the world, is erupting.”
Hamas regards the entire territory of the British Mandate of Palestine prior to 1948 as its territory belonging to the Palestinians and is frequently spoken of even by the Palestinian Authority as the “1948 Territories” in its media.
Hamas Sends Israeli Civilians Running
Hamas videos posted on social media show drones dropping bombs onto an Israeli tank in a fashion reminiscent of Ukraine, where videos regularly show drones dropping grenades through the open hatches of enemy tanks. Images also showed Hamas terrorists taking Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers hostage and commandeering their vehicles.
Israeli sources say that at least 1,000 Palestinian terrorist infiltrators may have entered the State of Israel, and they worry about infiltration from Lebanon and Syria.
Video shows hundreds of Israelis running for their lives amid the onslaught by Palestinian terrorists. Another video shows Israeli civilians being taken hostage by Hamas terrorists. Israeli civilians also have been shown hiding in dumpsters to evade Hamas terrorists going door-to-door trying to murder them.
How Involved Was Iran?
Such coordinated and sophisticated attacks likely were impossible without Iranian training or logistical support. Iran’s Quds Force provides Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) with weapons and training.
Iran issued a statement saying “we support the Al-Aqsa flood operation and we are confident that the resistance front also supports it.” In Lebanon, the Iranian-controlled Hizballah terrorist movement celebrated the Hamas operation calling it “a large-scale heroic operation crowned with victory, divine support and the promise of a final and comprehensive victory.”
Images from Iran showed the Iranian government celebrating by handing out drinks in Tehran’s Palestine Square. Video from Iran’s parliament shows its members chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”
It marks an intelligence failure on par with the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S. Israel was caught off-guard. Iran’s supreme leader has regularly predicted the end of the State of Israel in recent years. This marks the greatest threat to the State of Israel since the 1973 Yom Kippur War in which Egypt and Syria invaded the Sinai and Golan Heights that Israel had respectively taken from each country in the 1967 Six Day War.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting. He writes opinion pieces for this publication.