The Student News Site of Dr. Michael M. Krop

The Lightning Strike

The Student News Site of Dr. Michael M. Krop

The Lightning Strike

The Student News Site of Dr. Michael M. Krop

The Lightning Strike

War in the Middle East: Israel under attack

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The Times of Israel
ROCKET FIRE: Missles fired by Gaza from Palestine over the Israeli city of Netivot are intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” defense system

On the morning of Oct. 7, Hamas initiated rocket attacks and deployed fighters into central and southern regions of Israel by means of land, sea and air, taking the country by surprise, and sparking the current Israel-Gaza war. The days since have made for the most violent and deadly in the region in decades.

 Israel and Gaza have a long history of conflict, stemming from Israel’s occupation of the territory in 1967 after the Arab-Israeli War. Both Palestinians and Israelis claim this territory and see it as part of a future/current state. In 2005, Israel withdrew its soldiers and civilians and ceded control to the fragile Palestinian Authority. 

So what is Hamas? Hamas is an extremist terrorist organization that is currently governing the Gaza Strip of Palestinian territories, and is composed of radical Islamists who call for not just the destruction of Israel but for the eradication of all Jews. “

We must attack every Jew on planet Earth. We must slaughter and kill them,” Senior Hamas Official Fathi Hammad said. 

Hamas and Palestinians are not the same, with the former exploiting innocent Palestinian civilians. According to the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, Hamas uses Palestinian citizens as human shields; firing rockets and artillery from heavily populated civilian areas, often from or near facilities that should be protected, as per the Geneva Convention. (e.g. schools, hospitals, or mosques). 

According to the New York Times, Hamas fired 2,200 rockets into Israel on Saturday alone, and as of writing, over 6,600 rockets have been fired from Gaza towards civilian areas in Israel. Hamas militants infiltrated Israeli cities, massacring and kidnapping as they went. Over 1,300 Israelis have been murdered, over 3,500 wounded and over 199 kidnapped by Hamas. Amongst the casualties were babies, children and holocaust survivors, with countless others suffering from the loss of family members. 

According to CBS News, Hamas fighters have made an effort to desecrate victims; raping and assaulting women before parading around their bloodied nude bodies as trophies while encouraging supporters to violate and defile the murdered and kidnapped. 

Moreover, according to the Atlantic, Hamas is implementing psychological warfare. Fighters have posted footage of themselves and their victims online, including images of the corpses of 40 beheaded babies at a Kibbutz (intentional community) near the Gaza border and videos of them raping women and befouling them, dead and alive. Reports of phone calls to family members of victims being raped and tortured on the other end are rampant, and families have found out the fate of their loved ones through videos posted online. 

“Everyday I get more and more calls and texts with bad news,” Israeli senior Daphnie Efroni said. “Just the other day I was on the phone with one of my best friends, sobbing as we got news his young cousin was killed.”

 Israel declared war almost immediately following the attacks and has since sent combatants and launched airstrikes into the Gaza region. As a result of their retaliation, around 2,670 inhabitants of the Gaza region have been killed since Saturday, as of.
There have been shows of solidarity with Israel and protests for Palestinian freedom around the world. Countless individuals have taken to the streets with Israeli/Palestinian flags and spirits from New York City to Sydney, Australia. Countries have also shown support, the United States, Australia, India, Canada, the collective European Union and more have made claims supporting Israel and condemning Hamas for its actions. While Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and other Islamic countries are supporting Hamas. 

Here at Krop, the nonprofit Getting Started Voting, run by senior Uziel Isman has partnered with Skylake Synagogue to create an Israel Drive to support victims of Saturday’s attacks. 

“I reached out to people I know in the Israeli Defense Forces and connected with government leaders to find out what items were needed,” Isman said. “From there I reached out to Skylake Synagouge and orgaznized the drive. Now the synagogue has received an overwhelming amount of donations, a huge factor behind that being all the students who shared the flyer.” 

Moreover, Oct. 11 was class color day as part of Spirit Week, and since seniors’ color is blue, many Jewish students and allies chose to wear blue and white in support of Israel, or opted to wear Israeli Defense Force hoodies. 

“After going to a rally at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, I was inspired by the unity of all attendants, everyone was wearing Israeli colors and holding flags,” senior Maya Hickey said. “Since our class color is blue, I encouraged everyone to wear white as well to show our solidarity and come together as a community.” 

Some Jewish students engaged in a traditional tefillin prayer in the student parking lot before school, an idea proposed by senior Abel Profeta. 

“Given Israel’s current state, a lot of people need our prayers right now,” Profeta said. “Alot of Jewish kids want to express condolences and pray for Israel but don’t have the means, given I wrap tefillin every day I thought it was a great opportunity to teach others and make our prayer stronger.” 

On Oct. 11, Israel announced the formation of an emergency government as Israelis and Palestinians brace for possible escalation of violence by Hamas. The wartime cabinet includes the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his political rival Benny Gantz and other officials. 

The United States has sent military ships and aircraft as aid to Israel and Jews, internationally, are saying goodbye to their families as they head to Israel to fight on behalf of the Israeli Defense Force.

 “A lot of my sisters’ friends, who are like older siblings to me, all over the country are leaving to go fight on behalf of Israel,” senior Yoav Berliasvky said. “I just hope the conflict ends soon and they get home safe.”

 As the war wages on, Israelis, Palestinians, and allies mourn the grave loss of life and try to cope with the crimes against humanity committed toward innocent civilians. 

Israel remains vigilant and aware, as other terrorist groups, like the Iran-backed Shitte group Hezbollah have committed to the destruction of the Jewish state and people.

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