In the calm of Saturday morning, terrorists from Hamas, a U.S.-designated terror group, staged an attack on Israel by rocket and deadly raids into Israeli territory. As of this writing, Israel has reported over 1,300 deaths, many of them civilians: women, children and families, as well as Israeli soldiers. More than 3,000 have been wounded, and there are reports of well over one hundred Israelis being held captive by Hamas, with threats to execute them if certain demands from Hamas are not met.
In the ensuing retaliatory strikes by Israel into the Palestinian enclave in Gaza, the Gaza Health Ministry says 1,537 people have been killed and 6,612 wounded, many of them innocent, as well.
The death toll of Americans killed in the raids on Israel stands at 27.
I’ll try not to be political or religious in condemning Hamas’s actions or comment on what certainly is Israel’s right to defend itself. There are certainly many, many sides to this conflict, which has been plaguing the Middle East for thousands of years. But as a Jew and a New Yorker who lived through September 11, this particular attack hit home.
The only goal of Saturday morning’s attacks seems to be pure terror and the killing of innocent men, women and children. Hamas could not have thought that it would invade Israel to take over the country, as Vladimir Putin did when he invaded Ukraine last year—in an equally reprehensible act, not only targeting the Ukrainian military and infrastructure but innocent civilians, as well. Putin has been charged with war crimes and is an international fugitive.
When the US was attacked on September 11, it was a small group of terrorists who hijacked four planes. The world as we know it changed on that day. The Hamas attack involved well over 1,000 soldiers, who trained for months to carry out the well-orchestrated attacks. How did Israeli intelligence miss this one? Israel’s reputation for state-of-the-art security was shattered in a matter of hours.
None of us know how this will play out over the next days, weeks, or months. However, whether we’re Israeli, Palestinian, Russian, Ukrainian, or American, we should all be outraged when terror targets innocent victims for the sole purpose of terrorism.
Marcum Foundation will be making a $100,000 contribution to support children affected by this terrible conflict.
We pray for a speedy recovery for those hurt in these attacks and we extend our condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones. May they rest in peace.