Israeli Defence Forces today admitted that the unprecedented Hamas attack two days ago came as a complete surprise. In a video statement, IDF’s International Spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said, “We were attacked with the combined offensive by Hamas. By surprise. And not only the traditional rows we have had with Hamas”.
“We are going to respond very severely to this,” he added.
The massive ground, air and sea offensive by Hamas and its aftermath have wiped out around 100 lives in Israel and Palestine. Reports said 600 Israelis have been killed and 1,000 wounded.
Gaza officials have said the Israel’s retaliatory air strikes on the coastal enclave had brought the Palestinian death count to at least 400, around 1,700 have been wounded.
Operational update with IDF International Spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht. https://t.co/9d9JeiUYFG
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 8, 2023
“We have been talking about Hamas for years. They want the annihilation of our state. I think everybody got a taste of what they are yesterday,” Lt. Col. Hecht said.
“They attacked us on land air and sea. They did not go for military targets. They went for civilians… grandmothers, children, babies… the events are unfolding. The numbers are unprecedented,” he added.
“The scale of the attack is barbaric. In a way, this is our 9/11. This is against international law, Islam. Hurting children — hard to comprehend,” he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the Israeli armed forces will use “all its force to destroy Hamas’s capabilities”.
“We will strike them to the bitter end and avenge with force this black day they brought on Israel and its people,” he said, warning Palestinians living near Hamas sites in Gaza to leave.
“I’m telling the people of Gaza: get out of there now, because we’re about to act everywhere with all our force,” he said.