Israeli soldiers are engaged in battles with Hamas militants in southern Israel while also exchanging fire with Hezbollah militants in the north, who are launching rockets from Lebanon.
More than 700 Israelis, including civilians and military personnel, have been confirmed dead since Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel from Gaza. Another 2,150 individuals have been wounded.
Driving the news: As many as nine American citizens have been killed in the attacks, with President Biden offering condolences and pledging full support to the Israeli government.
- The Gaza Ministry of Health reported that 370 Palestinians have died and 2,200 have been wounded in the conflict.
- Hamas has reportedly taken an unknown number of hostages, including those of Israeli, Mexican, and American origin.
- Israel has vowed to “destroy Hamas” and turn their hiding places into ruins, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared it to be a long and difficult war.
- Israeli authorities are still fighting Hamas militants in six locations inside Israel.
- The Israeli rescue service, Zaka, has removed around 260 bodies from a music festival that came under attack by Hamas, but the total figure is expected to rise.
- The Lebanese group Hezbollah has also fired rockets at Israeli positions in the Golan Heights, claiming solidarity with the Palestinian resistance.
- Sunday, U.S. Central Command announced that the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group was being mobilized into the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Iran factor: Both Hamas and Hezbollah receive funding and support from Iran, according to the U.S. government.
- On Sept. 11, the Biden administration unfroze $6 billion in Iranian oil revenues in exchange for American prisoners in the Islamic Republic. Critics of the move argue that the release of funds to the regime funded the Hamas attack on Israel mere weeks later.
What they’re saying on the ground: Hamas spokesman Abu Ubeida said that the organization would begin executing hostages on live television in response to targeting of civilians in the Gaza Strip.
#BREAKING: Hamas announces that it will begin execution and live televised killing of Israeli hostages for every building bombarded in Gaza.— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) October 9, 2023
Statement by Abu Ubaida, spokesman for the Military Wing of Hamas – Al-Qassam Brigades on Al Jazeera.
"We have decided to put an end to… pic.twitter.com/oi0NEvArVP
What they’re saying locally: In a Facebook post, Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer noted a large contingent of police chiefs visiting Israel during the attack by Hamas, citing his own experience visiting while leading the Fresno Police Department.
- Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld, in a sharp statement, pledged unconditional, unequivocal support for Israel.
- “The cowardly Hamas attacks on Israel today are no surprise after Biden gave $6 BILLION to appease Iran, the #1 State sponsor of terrorism,” Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld said in a statement. “These terrorists killed innocent civilians and we’ve witnessed women and children taken hostage. We must fully support Israel militarily and once and for all destroy these evil terrorists so that they cannot commit these war crimes ever again. Peace through strength, not Biden’s appeasement foreign policy, is the only way to secure peace. “