[This article was written at 06:00 UTC – the newsletter is published at 11:00 UTC]
It is day four of Israel’s war on Hamas.
On October 7, Israel suffered a surprise terrorist attack and military operation by Hamas and Gaza militants, which killed hundreds of civilians and many were taken as hostages back to Gaza. The nature of this security failure and how Israel got blindsided is a topic worth diving into on its own. The Israeli government declared a state of war, began clearing out villages and towns taken over by terrorists and infiltrators, and started an airstrike campaign against Gaza. Reservists have been called up, and the whole country mobilized. A ground operation to Gaza is rumored to be conducted soon. For now, Israel has put Gaza under siege and barrages of airstrikes.
Nothing happens in a vacuum, however. Whichever actions Israel takes, there is wariness about a threat to the north: Hezbollah in Lebanon. Through all the recent posturings and public comments though, it is unclear whether or not a full incursion by Hezbollah will occur if Israel does go into Gaza. This, of course, compounds the chances of broader Middle Eastern involvement, especially from Iran. There have already been skirmishes between Israel and Hezbollah and other militants in the north of the country.
Here are how the Four Pillars have reacted to the current developments:
Israel’s foremost ally, the United States have unequivocally backed Israel after the Hamas attack. As many of the killed and many of the hostages are American citizens, there would have been obligations that the US intercede in some form. President Biden stated that no hostile country should exploit the situation Israel found itself in. The US sent a carrier strike force, centered on the USS Gerald R. Ford, to the Eastern Mediterranean to deter and interdict any outside involvement. In the government, efforts to shore up air defense equipment and munitions to aid Israel have begun. President Biden will be making a speech at 13:00 EDT.
The EU decided to cut all aid to Palestine after the attack, but reversed its decision on Monday, after some member-states said the decision circumvented due process. The funds are now under review.
The US, the UK, France, Germany, and Italy published a joint statement, stating their united support for Israel and unequivocal denunciation of Hamas. The statement emphasizes the point that “this is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage.”
Read more about this conflict:
- [White House] Remarks by President Biden on the Terrorist Attacks In Israel
- [AP News] The US will send a carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean in support of Israel
- [Euronews] EU to review its Palestine financial aid to ensure no ‘indirect’ support to terrorism
- [White House] Joint Statement on Israel
- [Politico] ‘Planes have already taken off’: U.S. sends Israel air defense, munitions after Hamas attack
- [AP News] Israel strikes and seals off Gaza after incursion by Hamas, which vows to execute hostages – comprehensive article about the first three days of the war
- [Amichai Stein, KAN] “US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke with his Israeli counterpart and told him: “We stands by Israel, we are sending assistance from the US. Intelligence synchronization with the US Central Command Centcom, and what is required in terms of armaments, strategic assistance, the US will bring assets””
- [Twitter List] Open Source Intelligence – a feed of (mostly) reliable OSINT updates and analysis, curated by @jonostrower