With Israel officially declaring war after Hamas’ deadly attack, tensions in the Middle East continue to rise. The assault, by all accounts, is the worst incursion to unfold in decades, with the horrendous repercussions still being discerned.
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Alex Traiman, CEO and Jerusalem bureau chief of Jewish News Syndicate, told CBN Digital the situation is a “major growth” and “escalation” in the longstanding battle.
“There were over 5,000 rockets fired in a single day,” Traiman said. “That was the most that we’ve seen really ever.”
He also explained some other factors differentiating this weekend’s attack from past battles, including the fact that hundreds of Hamas terrorists made their way over the Gaza border — an area intended to be one of the “most well-protected borders” in the world.
“[They] made their way into Israeli population centers, kidnapped and killed Israeli women, children, young men, elderly,” Traiman continued. “And we’ve never had a case where we’ve seen what may turn out to be over a thousand killed in a single day in the state of Israel, really, since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, exactly 50 years ago.”
He also questioned why the multi-pronged attack was able to unfold in heavily fortified Israel, explaining how Hamas started the incursion with drones taking out some surveillance towers around the Gaza border. From there, rockets were launched all over the country, with terrorist paragliders going over the border and vehicles making their way into Israel.
“There was a major, major intelligence and security breakdown,” Traiman said. “Hamas has said that it was working on this attack for anywhere between six months and a year, so how did Israeli surveillance … and intelligence, which is very top quality, how do they not pick up on the chatter that there was going to be a massive attack?”
Additional questions persist, including how defenses were repeatedly breached. Even after terrorists made their way over the border, they were reportedly able to reach towns, take people hostage, and bring victims back over the border.
“Many Israelis want answers,” Traiman added.
Considering Israel’s size, with around 9 million citizens, he said most people know someone or are “either one degree or two degrees” separated from an injured, kidnapped, or killed individual.
With the situation nowhere near over, Traiman said there’s a “strong likelihood that there’s going to be a massive Israeli reprisal such of the scale that we have not seen in many, many years.”
It’s unclear what that will look like or where the battle will turn next, though it’s not likely to conclude in the near term. He said “tremendous shock” has overtaken Israelis as they navigate and attempt to process the unthinkable.
“In addition to what we’ve seen so far in terms of the brutality and of the horrific attack, the entire country basically has been mobilized for war,” he said. “Families all over the country have sent husbands, fathers, and children off to army bases to prepare for potential incursions.”
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