The “Deluge D’Al Aqsa” attack, launched by Hamas in the early hours of October 7, put an end to the truce period in Israel that began in May. The attack, on an unprecedented scale, revived the trauma of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It highlights the failings of Israel’s intelligence services, which seem to have seen nothing coming, even though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised security in exchange for an autocratic regime.
“What has happened is unprecedented in Israel”. These were the words of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, commenting on the Hamas offensive against Israel at first light on Saturday, October 7, 2023. After an intense salvo of rockets launched in the direction of Israel, Hamas fighters used vehicles, boats and even motorized paragliders to bypass the massive barrier surrounding Gaza. Last Saturday, they attacked military positions and civilians in the middle of the streets.
Israel also faced an attack on its northern border near Lebanon. The Lebanese Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas and Iran, fired shells at a disputed area on the border, prompting an Israeli drone to strike back at a Hezbollah target in southern Lebanon.
The fighting left “more than 600 dead” and “more than 2,000 wounded”, including 22 seriously, on the Israeli side, according to the government. In the Gaza Strip, 370 Palestinians were killed and almost 2,000 wounded, according to Hamas. For Israel, this escalation is the deadliest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades.
The Hamas attack was condemned by Western countries, and US President Joe Biden reaffirmed his “unwavering support” for Israel. The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the situation. Pope Francis called for an end to attacks in Israel, stressing that “terrorism and war lead to no solution”.
Negotiations between Israel and Saudi Arabia
This offensive was launched at a time when negotiations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, mediated by the United States, seemed to be gaining momentum with a view to normalization. A move strongly criticized by Hamas and its Iranian ally.
Following the meeting between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in New York on September 20, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) expressed his support for the Biden administration’s talks. “We hope that [the negotiations] will lead to an agreement that will make life easier for the Palestinians and allow Israel to play a role in the Middle East,” he said.
MBS is demanding a number of concessions from the United States, including a defense pact between Saudi Arabia and Uncle Sam, which would provide his country with sophisticated weapons and support for a civilian nuclear program. These are still being resisted by the US Congress. He called for closer cooperation on security and economic issues, deeming it crucial for both the United States and Saudi Arabia, for security in the Middle East and the world.
Click here to read the entire article on Luxus Magazine.
Featured photo : ©Apaimages/SIPA