A young woman is pulled by the hair and shoved into the backseat of a truck. Her trousers, where she has been sitting, are soaked with blood. She has been captured by Hamas Islamists who have launched a war on the state of Israel. She is just one of many who have been taken hostage.
On the 7th October, on a day that will live in infamy, Israelis suffered a surprise attack from Hamas militants. A hailstorm of 2000 rockets rained down from the Gaza strip. Militants poured through the border and began stalking cities in the Southern part of Israel.
Reports out of Southern Israel and videos on social media have shown militants riding in Jeeps and 4 wheel-drives attacking civilians. One video captured the execution of elderly citizens at a bus stop. Another showed a young woman in the back of a truck, her unclothed body twisted and lifeless.
A music festival was attacked. Held near a kibbutz close to the Gaza strip, unverified videos on social media appear to show Hamas militants paragliding into the event. Other videos show attendees fleeing the scene as gunshots ring out. The New York Timeshas reported that 500 attendees still remain unaccounted for.
As of this writing, at least 300 Israelis have been confirmed dead, and 1500 have been wounded. The death toll will no doubt increase. Hamas militants are still holding an undisclosed number of Israelis hostage.
Observers have noted that the attacks have been unusually sophisticated for Hamas, indicating support from either Russia or Iran (or both). Experts have also described the attack as one of the worst failures in Israeli intelligence in history. Quillette will have more on this over the coming days.
Naturally, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has declared war on Hamas. "We are at war," he said in a televised address, and “we will win,” he assured his people.
Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, wrote “As the barbarity of today’s atrocities becomes clearer, we stand unequivocally with Israel,” words that were echoed by Australia’s Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese:
All the team at Quillette are thinking of our friends in Israel at this moment. We love you. We support you. And we stand in solidarity with you.