Israel was attacked at 6:30 AM on Saturday morning. When I was walking the dog, I heard what I thought was thunder. The clouds were clearing and it became apparent that these were artillery sounds. We know now that beginning at 6:30, Hamas in Gaza began launching over 3000 rockets into the south of Israel as cover for a land invasion of the local Israeli communities just on the other side of the Gaza/Israeli border fence. Last night hundreds of rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel to the North towards Ashkelon and Tel Aviv. Ben Gurion Airport is open, but only Israeli airlines are flying in and out.
Because it was the Sabbath and Simhat Torah, on Saturday, the last joyous holiday of the season, Karen and I did not have our phones on. It was only after the holiday ended, Saturday night, that we learned that Hamas terrorists had captured over 100 men, women, elderly, and children from the border communities and taken them as captives into Gaza. Our troops were not ready for this invasion, all of our "children '', friends, and neighbours are called into active army duty, and we are doing what we can to support this effort with blood, food, clothing, and other donations to these troops as they prepare to respond. There will be obvious political repercussions when this war is ended. For now we are all together, regardless of how we feel about the issues that seem to divide people these days.
At this point, we count 700 dead from the initial incursion by Gaza jihadists including 250 kids, sleeping in tents, attending a music festival near the border. Israeli troops are still finding families in their homes, murdered in their kitchens, bedrooms, and backyards. The majority of the terrorists that crossed the border were not carrying supplies like water or body armor, expecting to kill as many Jews as possible and dying as “Shaheeds”, or sacrifices in the name of their brand of radical Islam, at the hands of Israeli troops.
My city of Efrat has already lost one of our sons in service to his country.
While we are out of harm's way for now, in Efrat, we are surrounded by Arab villages, whose children have been radicalized by Palestinian Authority “education” that glorifies death at the hands of Israeli forces knowing that their families will be taken care of from US and EU stipends to the Palestinian Authority for killing Jews. Our security is on high alert around all of our cities. Our schools and many of our businesses are closed to allow the citizens to be close to shelters if the rocket attacks resume. One of the companies that I support has sent 6 of their engineers to the Gaza border as infantry soldiers.
This is a war, maybe even worse than the 73 Yom Kippur war. This is not a war over land, it is a war of ideology, radical Islam against the West. Iran and its proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, say it outloud that their goal is to destroy Israel as a step towards conquering the West.