By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency
Jerusalem, Israel — October 8, 2023 … At least 260 bodies have been found by rescuers after the Hamas Islamic terror organization opened fire on Israeli partygoers at a music festival near the Gaza Strip yesterday morning. Emergency workers calling the scene a ‘massacre’.
Terrified international festivalgoers first realized that something was wrong when an air raid siren began blaring at dawn warning of rockets. Hamas terrorists then cut the electricity before firing rockets and blasting gunshots from jeeps they drove onto the site.
Israel suffered its deadliest attack in decades, as Hamas rampaged through the country’s towns murdering 700 innocent men, women and children – civilians – and abducting dozens more.
Last night, the Israel Security Cabinet approved the war situation and, to this end, the taking of significant military steps, as per Article 40 of Basic Law: The Government.
The war that was forced on Israel in a murderous, mass terrorist assault from the Gaza Strip began at 06:00 yesterday.
The Security Cabinet made a series of operational decisions, the goal of which is to achieve the destruction of the military and governing capabilities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in a way that will preclude their ability and willingness to threaten and attack the citizens of Israel for many years.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concluded the discussion and said: “We are embarking on a long and difficult war that was forced on us by a murderous Hamas terror attack. The first stage is ending at this time by the destruction of the vast majority of the enemy forces that infiltrated Israel. At the same time, we have begun the offensive phase, which will continue with neither limitations nor respite until the objectives are achieved.”
Netanyahu added: “We will restore security to the citizens of Israel and we will win.”
Among the decisions made by the Israel Security Cabinet is halting the supply of electricity, fuel and goods.
“Hamas wants to murder us all,” said Netanyahu. “This is an enemy that murders children and mothers in their homes, that slaughters and massacres our citizens, including children, who simply went out to enjoy the holiday.
What happened today is unprecedented in Israel – and I will see to it that it does not happen again. The entire government is behind this decision.
The IDF will immediately use all its strength to destroy Hamas’s capabilities. We will destroy them and we will forcefully avenge this dark day that they have forced on the State of Israel and its citizens. As Bialik wrote: ‘Revenge for the blood of a little child has yet been devised by Satan’.
All of the places which Hamas is deployed, hiding and operating in, that wicked city, we will turn them into deserted islands of ruins.
I say to the residents of Gaza: Leave now because we will operate forcefully everywhere.
At this hour, the IDF is clearing the Islamic terrorists who are funded by Iran, out of the last communities. They are going town by town, house by house, and are restoring our control.
An #Israel ambulance driver in @Mdais, Aharon Chaimov, a 25-year-old EMT, was murdered today by #Hamas in his ambulance. He was on his way to treat wounded in #Ofakim.
Aharon leaves behind 2 children and a wife.
— Center Against Anti-Semitism (@CTRAntisemitism) October 8, 2023
I embrace and send heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families whose loved ones were murdered today in cold blood and endless brutality.
We are all praying for the well-being of the wounded and all those who are being held hostage.
I say to Hamas: You are responsible for their well-being. Israel will settle accounts with anyone who harms one hair on their heads.
I appeal to the residents of the south: We all stand alongside you. We are all proud of your heroism and your fighting.
To our beloved IDF soldiers, police officers and security forces personnel, remember that you are the continuation of the heroes of the Jewish people, of Joshua, Judah Maccabee and the heroes of 1948 and of all of Israel’s wars. You are now fighting for the home and future of us all. We are all with you. We all love you. We all salute you.
To the Israeli medical and rescue teams, and the many volunteers who came out in force today in a long list of places, the people of Israel salute you. With your spirit, we will overcome our enemies.
Today, I spoke with US President Biden and with other world leaders in order to ensure freedom of action for Israel in the continuation of the campaign. I thank President Biden for his strong and clear words.
I thank the President of France, the Prime Minister of Great Britain and many other leaders for their unreserved support for Israel.
I now appeal to all citizens of Israel.
We stand together in this campaign.
This war will take time. It will be difficult. Challenging days are ahead of us. However, I can promise one thing: With the help of G-d, the forces that we all have in common and our faith in the Eternal One of Israel, we will win.”