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13 APR 2024

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  • Yosef Silver

Who was responsible for the attack on October 7, 2023?

Delving into the details of the October 7th attack and understanding the role of Hamas.

The Basic Facts:

  • Israel was attacked on October 7, 2023 by Hamas

  • More than 2,000 missiles were launched at Israeli towns

  • Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack in a video statement

  • At least 3,000 terrorists breached the border between Gaza and Israel

  • At least 1,400 Israelis were killed, upward of 4,629 injured, and at least 240 taken hostage

  • Victims were citizens of at least 16 different countries

On October 7, 2023, a barrage of more than 2,000 rockets was launched by Hamas from Gaza into Israel shortly before 6:30 AM. As air raid sirens sounded across the country and Israelis sought shelter in safe rooms and bunkers, a signal was reported to have been given to Hamas to breach the security fence between Gaza and Israel and launch their attack on Israeli surveillance infrastructure.

Along with the ground incursion, there were also reports that Hamas used motorized paragliders to breach the border by air.

This attack was launched by Hamas on the fiftieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War and it was reported that more than 3,000 terrorists entered Israel and attacked civilian men, women, children, and members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Hamas has named this attack on Israel the “Al-Aqsa Flood

What is Hamas?

Hamas, known in full as Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya (Islamic Resistance Movement), is a terrorist organization that was founded on October 10, 1987 in a split from the Muslim Brotherhood. It has been formally deemed a terrorist organization by Australia, Canada, the European Union, Israel, Japan, Paraguay, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Hamas has repeatedly called for the annihilation of Israel and attacks on Jewish people around the world. This is supported by Hamas’ charter which calls for the creation of a Palestinian State in place of Israel and supports violence to make it happen. Hamas has not limited its violence towards Jews alone. The Middle East Research Institute reports that Hamas also calls for brutality against homosexuals and the BBC reports beheadings carried out by Hamas.

Where did this attack take place?

On October 7, 2023, rocket attacks from Gaza had Israelis seeking shelter at 6:30 AM as far south as Beer Sheva in the south of the country. More than 2,000 rockets are reported to have been fired into Israel as “smoke billowed over residential Israeli areas.”

Explosions were reported in areas adjacent to the Gaza Strip and in cities in the Sharon Plain including Gedera, Herzliya,Tel Aviv, and Ashkelon. Air raid sirens were also activated in Beer Sheva, Jerusalem, Rehovot, Rishon Lezion, and the Palmachim Airbase.

Shortly thereafter a border infiltration led to attacks on multiple locations including the Erez border crossing, the Zikim IDF base, and the Israeli Defence Force’s (IDF) Gaza division headquarters at Reim. In addition to attacks on Israeli military targets, the Hamas terrorists attacked revelers at the Supernova Peace Festival.

The massacre continued at various locations near Gaza, including Kfar Aza, Nahal Oz, Be’eri, Nir Oz, and Ofakim.

Map of Hamas Attacks on Israel on October 7 2023

Photograph by Ecrusized, influenced by user Rr016, distributed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

What happened to the victims of the attack?

Israel struggled to identify many of the dead and missing, as many of the bodies of the victims were burned, mutilated, or beheaded making it hard to identify them.

The Daily Mail reports that an “Israeli morgue worker says horrors inflicted on Hamas's victims are 'worse than the Holocaust' including a decapitated pregnant woman and her beheaded unborn child,” and “evidence of mass rape of so brutal that they broke their victims’ pelvis.”

Among the victims, it is thought that at least 1,400 were murdered (250 at the Supernova Peace Festival), at least 240 have been taken hostage, and 4,834+ were injured.

It is hard to know how many people have been kidnapped or where they are being held. At the time of writing, more than 240 people are believed being held, and The Red Cross is being denied access to the hostages. In the aftermath of the attack on Kibbutz Be’eri, a scene of brutality was uncovered with 80% of bodies showing signs of torture.

This act of terror did not differentiate between armed forces and civilians and was unique in Israeli history. A spokesperson for the IDF, Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, said it was “by far the worst day in Israeli history,” which, using an American analogy, could be “a 9/11 and a Pearl Harbor wrapped into one.”

Immediate Reaction to the Attacks

Following the attacks, a National Unity Government was formed between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Opposition leader and former Defense Minister, Benny Gantz. In the days following the attack world leaders including US President Joseph Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emanuel Macron, visited Israel and the region and expressed their support for Israel. The US Secretary of State made multiple visits to the region and President Macron called for an international coalition to fight Hamas in Gaza.

With International support, Israel responded to the October 7 attacks with both air strikes and a ground invasion. In order to minimize civilian casualties, Israel called for residents of Gaza to leave the North and seek shelter south of Wadi Gaza. Once assurances could be made that aid would reach the people of Gaza, trucks were allowed to enter from Egypt through Rafah.


Source List

Australian National Security, Hamas March 18, 2022

Public Safety Canada, Hamas (Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamiya) (Islamic Resistance Movement) November 27, 2002.

NBCTF National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing of Israel, The Minister of Defense has designated 6 Hamas organizations as terror organizations January 3, 2022

US Department of State, Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Council on Foreign Relations, What Is Hamas?

National Review, Massacre on Kibbutz Be’eri October 11, 2023

The New York Times, Sunak Visits Israel in Display of British Support October 18, 2023

Federation of American Scientists Intelligence Research Program, Hamas Charter


Yosef Silver

Yosef Silver is an entrepreneur and marketing strategist with a flair for email marketing and growth strategies. A frequent conference speaker and non-profit founder, he blends professional expertise with community engagement. You can follow him at @ysilver on X (formerly Twitter).


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