2024 Election

Israel Declares War, Officially, for the First Time in 50 Years

Israel formally declared war on Saturday evening for the first time in 50 years, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet voted to adopt a formal war footing.

The Times of Israel reported:

The security cabinet voted last night to put the country officially at war, and it can carry out “significant military activities,” the Prime Minister’s Office announces.

…The high-level security cabinet decision gives the declaration legal standing in keeping with Basic Law: The Government, which in its Clause 40 says that the country cannot go to war without a government decision.

The last official “war” was the Yom Kippur War of 1973, when Israel was taken by surprise in an attack by Egypt and Syria. Though Israel has fought several conflicts since then, many of which are popularly referred to as “wars,” the country has not officially declared war in half a century.

The Prime Minister’s office also announced that it was cutting off “electricity, fuel, and goods” to Gaza. Netanyahu also released a message telling civilians in Gaza to flee because of Israel’s imminent response.

The Palestinian terror attack happened on the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret, the final day of the annual High Holy Day cycle.

Iran has already declared “victory,” as the attack — using drones, rockets, and vehicles — has led to over 600 deaths and over 2,000 wounded, as of this writing.

Survivors of an attack on a music festival in Southern Israel by Hamas terrorists claimed that it was like a “horror movie” as hundreds of dead bodies have been recovered and others are believed to have been taken hostage by Islamist Palestinians.

On Saturday, the Supernova music festival attended by approximately 3,000 people in the Negev desert near Kibbutz Re’im quickly turned from a joyous occasion marking the Jewish holiday of Sukkot into a “massacre” as Hamas terrorists raided the event from the nearby Gaza Strip. The attack came as Palestine waged a series of surprise attacks on Israel on Shemini Atzeret, the final day of the annual High Holy Day cycle.

Speaking to Israel’s Channel 12 broadcaster one survivor of the attack said that it was “four-five hours of a horror movie… We ran like crazy, it was just crazy.”

Although no official numbers on the number of dead, injured, or kidnapped have been released, an emergency medic named Yaniv who came to the scene of the atrocity told public broadcaster Kan News: “There are at least 200 bodies of Israelis in the area I was in.”

“It was a massacre,” Yaniv continued. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. It was a planned ambush. As people came out of the emergency exits, squads of terrorists were waiting for them there and just started picking them off.

“There were 3,000 people at the event, so they probably knew it. They had intelligence information.”

According to the volunteer group ZAKA, which assists in handling the dead in the wake of terror attacks and natural disasters, at least 250 bodies have been recovered from the site of the music festival so far, the Times of Israel reports.

Speaking to the BBC, an attendee of the festival, Gili Yoskovich recalled how she hid under a tree as terrorist gunmen mowed down the people, saying: “They were going tree by tree and shooting. I saw people were dying all around. I was very quiet. I didn’t cry, I didn’t do anything.”

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“But I was on the one hand breathing, saying: ‘OK, I’m going to die. It’s OK, just breathe, just close your eyes,’ because it was shooting everywhere, it was very very close to me. Then I heard the terrorists open a big van…and get more weapons from this car. They were in the area for three hours. No-one was there, no-one.

“They were very close to me and my leg was shaking. I tried and did my best, I moved a little bit and when they were in this side I heard them talking Arabic.

“I was just thinking about my kids, my friend, about everything and I was saying it’s not the time to die for me, not yet. Then I started to hear some Hebrew from one side, [but] Arabic from three sides. I realised that there were some soldiers, maybe five or six.

“I decided to go to these soldiers. Meanwhile, there were still terrorists around, so I was going with my hands up so that they will know that its me and I’m not a terrorist. Then someone was putting me in a car.

“I was the first one to get out of the field. It took others two or three more hours to get out [and] all the way people were dying – all the way on the road, young people, [as] it’s a festival for young people.”

“The most crazy thing is how come we were there for such a long time and no one was there. No army, no police. Nothing.”

One of those still missing from the festival is British man Jake Marlowe, 26, who was serving as a security guard for the event. The UK Home Office told the BBC that it is “in contact with – and assisting – the families of several individuals” who are believed to have been kidnapped by Hamas but would not comment on specific cases.

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Another attendee of the festival, German citizen Shani Louk was filmed lying lifelessly in the back of a pickup truck at the feet of several Hamas terrorists, who shouted “Allah hu Akbar” as they spit on her half-naked body. It is still unclear whether Louk is alive or dead. Her mother, Ricarda, issued a desperate plea on Saturday begging for any information about the fate of her daughter.

The parents of American-Israeli Hersh Golberg-Polin have also issued calls for information about their son who went to the festival to celebrate his birthday. His parents told the Jerusalem Post that they have not heard from him since receiving two text messages on Saturday morning, reading: “I love you” and “I’m sorry.”

Footage believed to have been taken during the attack on the festival saw 25-year-old Noa Argamani desperately pleading for help as she was dragged away by Hamas terrorists. Her father, Ya’akov said that he was heartbroken after watching the video, and said that he is praying that she is safely returned home.

“I asked to see and then I saw that it was definitely her. She was so scared, so frightened. I always protected her, and at this very moment I couldn’t,” he cried. “I pray that everyone will return.”


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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.


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