On Saturday, October 7, the world saw just how heinous Hamas terrorism can be when supported by Iranian weapons. Making matters worse is the Biden administration’s foolhardy $6 billion gift to Iran, which could be motivating Iran to bankroll the attack on Israel. Iran’s complicity in the Hamas attacks is an open issue, but certainly Tehran was a cheerleader for the assault, leaving over 600 Israelis confirmed dead and more than 2,000 wounded or maimed as of 10:00 am ET on Sunday morning, October 8.
Israel Retaliation Swift and Sure
The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is swiftly retaliating for the surprise attack with their own air attacks on a Hamas stronghold in Gaza and mopping up the residue of Hamas fighters. Questions, however, are starting to be asked. Despite the rapid response and mobilization of forces after the initial assaults, why was the IDF unprepared? Did the Biden administration’s cozying up to Iran prompt Tehran’s mullahs to give Hamas the go-ahead for the attack? Reports from Jerusalem have called the fighting some of the most well-coordinated assaults on the Israeli homeland in half a century. How the planning and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition could have been accomplished without the IDF or the Israeli intelligence apparatus knowing what was happening remains a mystery.
Nonetheless, the Hamas operation was complex and required integrated communications. According to The New York Times correspondent Eric Schmitt:
“In an email, Mick Mulroy, a former Pentagon Middle East official and retired CIA paramilitary officer, said that ‘the multiple means of attack probably gave the IDF a significant tactical dilemma.’ The attack, he said, ‘was preceded by a rocket and missile barrage of thousands, which likely buttoned up the IDF and a lot of the police force in Israel; it was then followed by denial-of-service attacks in Israel, and then an air, sea and land attack’ from multiple points.”
Though tensions have been high along the Israeli-Gaza border as Palestinian militants deployed balloons carrying incendiary explosives into Israel, prompting IDF airstrikes, this level of combat has become routine. “But there were no indications that the tensions would break out into full-scale conflict, and the attack caught Israel’s military and security establishment off guard,” Michael Amon and Rory Jones surmised, writing for the Wall Street Journal.
IDF Fighting Throughout Southern Israel
As a result of the coordinated and seemingly wide-area attack, there has been intense fighting as the IDF has engaged the Hamas militant terrorists in numerous areas. “Daniel Hagari, an IDF spokesman, outlined in detail to the Washington Examiner that they are fighting in 22 locations in southern Israel as of Saturday afternoon,” Eden Villalovas, Washington Examiner’s breaking news reporter, explained. “There is no community in Southern Israel where we do not have forces in all the towns,” Villalovas quoted Hagari.
Some congressional leaders have identified Iran as a co-conspirator, if not a sponsor, of the Hamas attack, connecting the dots to the Biden administration’s recent hostages-for-profit ransom deal. Commenting on the rocket, ground, and sea assault on Israel, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) suggested in a press statement:
“Just weeks ago, the Biden administration handed over $6 billion to Iran, and today, innocent Israelis were murdered by Iran-backed Hamas terrorists. We must continue to support our strongest ally in the Middle East and their right to defend themselves against these unprovoked, horrific attacks. I stand with Israel and join many around the world in praying for the safety and security of its people.”
When others made similar connections in the media, Fox News Pentagon correspondent Jennifer Griffin explained: “None of that money has been released into Iran’s hands as of yet. Here’s how it worked…the money was not US taxpayer money…the money is being held in a Qatari bank.” For the money to be released, there must be bills of lading showing the money is being used for humanitarian purposes. As comforting as it sounds that the $6 billion Iran, one of the world’s top sponsors of terrorism, has access to will only be used for humanitarian purposes, there is good reason to be skeptical. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told NBC News: “This money belongs to the Iranian people, the Iranian government, so the Islamic Republic of Iran will decide what to do with this money.”
Biden Offers Strong US Support
In response to the multi-pronged terrorist assault on Israel, President Biden issued the following statement:
“This morning, I spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu about the horrific and ongoing attacks in Israel. The United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza… we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel… The United States warns against any other party hostile to Israel seeking advantage in this situation.”
Later in the day, in a televised address to the nation, Biden emphasized US support for Israel, declaring: “Let there be no mistake, the United States stands with the state of Israel.” The president did not take questions from the press.
The hostilities continue in southern Israel and are likely to prompt the Jerusalem government to maintain a high state of readiness for the IDF. Furthermore, there is a concern that the war might spread through the Arab world. Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, a potentially more dangerous threat than even Hamas, began launching mortar shells at Israel military sites along the border as an act of solidarity with Hamas. In response, the IDF launched an airstrike on the Lebanon border.